As many as nine of the 15 players, who came under the hammer at Sunday’s HIL auctions were eagerly grabbed by the five franchises for the league that will be held in January-February in five Indian cities.
Delhi Wave Riders bought Mohammad Rizwan Sr ($26,000) and Mohammad Rizwan Jr ($10,000) while Mumbai Magicians bought Mahmood Rashid ($41,000), Fareed Ahmad ($21,000), Mohammad Tousiq ($27,000) and Imran Butt ($5,500). Jaypee Punjab Warriors got Kashif Shah ($9,500) while Ranchi bid for Shafaq Rasool ($10,000) and Mohammed Irfan ($5,000).
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa welcomed this: “It was a great feeling to see Pakistani hockey players being bought by HIL franchises.
I congratulate Hockey India for the initiative. It will definitely improve sporting ties between the two countries. HIL could change the face of Indian and world hockey. The amount of money players will earn in a period of four weeks is unheard in international hockey,” Bajwa told IANS from Lahore.
The 2008 Mumbai terror attacks snapped sporting ties between India and Pakistan, particularly cricket.