New Delhi: Over hundred foreign players, including Australian star Jammie Dwyer and some Pakistani players are willing to be part of the World Series Hockey, to be launched by Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) later this year.
Yannick Colaco, Chief Operating Officer of Nimbus Sports, admitted that a lot of international players are in touch with them but did not divulge the names.
However, sources say 10 Australian and seven Pakistani players are in touch with the organisers through their agents and almost all the current overseas players, who were a part of Premier Hockey League, have also shown interest in the league.
"We have got tremendous response from players all around the world. Over 100 foreign players are in touch with us but we have the slot of 60 only. We will scrutinized them next month," as told to reporters.
IHF president R K Shetty said that there will be not an IPL-like auction for the league and the process of player selection will be based on the draft system used by the National Basketball Association in the US.
"There will be around four grades of players. Players in A plus category will get around 45 to 55 lakhs. A, B and C graded players will get around 40 to 50, 30 to 40 and 20 to 30 lakh rupees respectively," he said.
Nimbus Sports had recently entered into a 15-year contract with the IHF to conceptualise, stage and market the hockey series.
The series will feature as many as 100 matches and up to 250 hockey players from India and around the world will participate in it.
"All the top players will be a part of this series. Pakistani players have also approached us but the decision on their participation will be taken by the government," Colaco said.
Shetty said that some countries are even interested in hosting the matches.
"We are surprised by the overwhelming response by the players worldwide. Some countries even expressed the will to host some of the matches," he said.
Asked about the final list of the players, Colaco said it will be disclosed next month.
"We will finalise contracts with all Indian players in couple of weeks and then we will select foreign players. Final list of the players will be ready by February," he said
He said the criteria of selection will be players` form, consistency and potential.
"I don`t need any panel to tell me the capabilities of international players. All the foreign players who will be part of the league are well known and we will select the best," he said.