Black Sticks to be auctioned in IPL-style league

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 19:49 02/11/2012
Dean Couzins
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
BIG OPPORTUNITY: Dean Couzins is one of nine Black Sticks who will be auctioned for the new Hockey India League.

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Nine men's Black Sticks will be auctioned in a new, IPL-style Indian hockey league launching in January.

Organisers of the new Hockey India League will hold a live player auction on Wednesday where six, city-based franchises will bid for around 100 international players.

Black Sticks captain Dean Couzins, Shea McAleese, Simon Child, Phil Burrows, Steve Edwards, Andy Hayward, Nick Wilson, Hugo Inglis and Hamish McGregor have all signed up for the competition - tipped as "a new source of income for the world's best players."

The league, which begins on January 5, will be operated by Hockey India and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation.

Black Sticks vice-captain McAleese says the new competition stands to widen hockey's professional status.

"As a player, it would mean a lot to get picked up by a franchise as I would be able to commit to being a professional athlete without having to worry all the time about expenses," McAleese said.

Each franchise will have 24 players, comprising of 14 Indian and 10 foreign players.

Eleven Australian internationals have also signed up to the auction including star player Jaime Dwye.

Other players to commit to the HIL include South African captain Austin Smith and German Olympic gold medallists Moritz Fuerste, Oliver Korn and Oskar Deecke.

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