Yuvraj Walmiki who is out of the Indian men's hockey team, has bought a team — Mumbai Super Angels — in the women's rink hockey league.
Mumbai Super Angels owner Yuvraj Walmiki (right) with the team’s coaching staff during the women's rink hockey league auction at MIG Cricket Club in Bandra (East) yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
The 26-year-old striker is one the youngest owners in the six-team league that will be held from May 31 to June 4 at either St Andrew's ground in Bandra or Don Bosco (Matunga). Mumbai Mavericks owned by Phoenix Sports, Razzmatazz (Oticon), Shamrao Vithal Cooperative Bank-owned Dazzling Divas, Atlantis Queens (Hiranandani Group) and Silver Streaks (Global Ocean) are the other five teams in the league.
The league was conceptulised to provide some financial backing to women hockey players. Each team will have one underprivileged player from Kolkata-based NGO Bharani. Players at the NGO are trained in hockey. Those who have represented West Bengal in this year's sub-junior and junior championships will be part of this event.
"Women barely get paid to play in tournaments. I decided to buy a team as I felt that though this is just a small step, they (women) would get a financial boost. "Also, the upcoming players will get to play alongside national and international stars. I am positive that in the coming years, these women will get more money like the men do playing in the Hockey India League (HIL)," said Walmiki yesterday.
"Each team will have a marquee player (international) who will be paid a minimum of Rs 10,000. Upcoming players will get a minimum of Rs 4,000," informed Happy Mann of Orion Academy.