Black Sticks strikers Nick Wilson and Simon Child have been given the all-clear from Hockey New Zealand, allowing them to play for the duration of the new Hockey India League.
Wilson was signed by the Ranchi Rhinos for $24,000, while fellow goal-scorer Simon Child will play for the Delhi Wave Riders after they paid $20,000 for his services at yesterday's inaugural player auction.
The tournament has been put back, twice, and will now run from January 16 to February 10, meaning it clashes with national training camp from February 5-12.
New Black Sticks coach Colin Batch had previously said attendance at that camp was compulsory and any players signed for the new Indian league would have to return home early for the camp, but HNZ today issued a 'No Objections Certificate' for both players.
They can compete for their respective teams for as long as they are required.
Seven other Black Sticks - Dean Couzins, Phil Burrows, Hamish McGregor, Shea McAleese, Steve Edwards, Hugo Inglis and Andy Hayward - had put their names forward but were not signed.
At face value is is not huge money for Child and Wilson, especially when compared to the riches on offer in cricket's equivalent, the IPL.
But it should be noted the tournament only runs for about three weeks and hockey is not a lucrative sport in New Zealand so any financial reward will not be scoffed at.
India captain Sardar Singh became the highest-paid marquee player at the first auctions as the Delhi franchise bought him for $78,000.
- © Fairfax NZ News