New Delhi: The six existing franchisees of the Hockey India League (HIL) can retain upto three domestic and as many international players from the fourth edition of the tournament to be held next year, the organisers said on Monday.
With the players auction for the next season slated to take place in September, the franchisees will have to submit the list of retained players to the orgainsers by July 20. Presently, the HIL boasts of six teams with a minimum of 10 international players and 14 domestic players in each team.
Amongst the foreign recruits already playing in the league, world champions Australia alone have 26 players. The presence of Australian players for the upcoming editions is set to further strengthen through an agreement between Hockey India (HI) and Hockey Australia last year, wherein the latter agreed to release players for the HIL for a period of three years including 2016, an Olympic year.
Speaking on the announcement, chairman of HIL Narinder Batra said: "The move is aimed at giving an opportunity to the franchisee to retain the best talent among their existing squad. This way the teams will have a healthy mix of existing good players and young newcomers.
"With this opportunity, each of the franchises can retain players that are recognised with their team and have a connection to their teams' fan base."