English stars to head to India

Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton celebrate with their rays Teammates at HIL


Following yesterday’s Hockey India League auction, we now know that some of England Hockey’s brightest and best will line up in the star-studded competition when it all gets underway in January.

The auction comprised of 135 Indian players and 141 foreign players and boasted some of the biggest names around. In a frantic day of bidding and counter bidding Germany’s Moritz Fürste fetched the highest price, a record $105,000 to join the Kalinga Lancers. Joining Fürste in the Lancers’ ranks is Beeston and England star Adam Dixon, who was picked up in the auction in the 28th lot.

Fellow Beeston player Mark Gleghorne will join the Jaypee Punjab Warriors, a side with a strong Australian contingent as well as Germany’s star goalkeeper Nico Jacobi.

Also heading out to India to compete will be Iain Lewers who joins the Delhi Waveriders. The Holcombe defender will compete alongside the likes of South African duo Justin Reid-Ross and Austin Smith in another all-star franchise.

Two of England Hockey’s other stars, Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton will also play in the competition which runs from late January to late February 2016. Franchises had the option to retain the services of certain players before the auction took place. With both Middleton and Jackson outstanding on the way to winning the title last season, Ranchi Rays moved quickly to keep their services.

Jackson, who is the Captain of the Ranchi-based franchise, led the team from the front, scoring 12 goals to help his team to clinch the 2015 HIL title. He was the top scorer of the 2015 HIL and Most Valuable Player of the Tournament. Middleton also showed what people in England already knew, that he is a class act. With four goals, the England captain was the sixth highest goal-scorer in the competition.

Hockey India League (abbreviated as HIL) is a professional league in India. It is organised by Hockey India. The tournament consisting of players from India and around the world is contested by six franchises. The entire event takes place on home and away basis culminating into multi-header playoffs. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sanctioned the event and also provides a 30-day window at the beginning of a year so that all top players can participate. It is currently sponsored by two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, and is therefore officially known as Hero Hockey India League or HHIL.

You can find out more about the league on the official website:
http://league.hockeyindia.org/