New Delhi: Fourteen Pakistan hockey players, including star penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas, have signed up for the inaugural Hockey India League to be held from January 5 to February 3 next year.
The 14 Pakistani players will be among the pool of about 80 overseas players for the HIL Players Auction to be held next month, Hockey India said in a release.
Rated among the world`s best drag-flick exponents, Abbas is the most prolific scorer in the game`s history with 349 goals. He was the captain of the Pakistan squad that finished seventh in the London Olympic Games earlier this year.
Apart from the 19-year-old forward Ali Shan, the other 13 players were in Pakistan`s London Olympics squad. Ali Shan was among the final 20 probables for the Olympic Games.
"We are delighted that the cream of Pakistan`s Olympic Games squad has made itself available to play in the Hockey India League," Hockey India Secretary-General and HIL Chairman Narinder Batra said.
"We know that the Indian fans will love to watch these stars as part of the six teams that will vie for honours in the exciting tournament that will raise the profile of the sport," he said.
Pakistan Hockey Federation President Qasim Zia and Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa said they were happy that the 14 players would be part of the HIL Players Auction.
"Our players are excited to be among those considered for the inaugural Hockey India League," Bajwa said.
"We are sure that the event will be a huge success, drawing the best talent from around the world."
Goalkeepers: Imran Shah, Imran Butt
Defenders: Muhammed Irfan, Sohail Abbas, Muhammad Imran, Syed Kashif Shah
Midfielders: Muhammad Rizwan Jr, Fareed Ahmed, Rashid Mehmood, Muhammad Tousiq
Forwards: Muhammad Rizwan Sr, Shafqat Rasool, Waqas Muhammad, Ali Shan.