World Series Hockey fever catching up, IHF lures top players
World Series Hockey (WSH) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) Monday announced cash incentives for the national team to motivate the players for the 2012 London Olympics. The IHF in their bid to retain players for the WSH announced cash incentives for Indian players who would participate in the multi-million dollar event.
WSH also unveiled their franchise Chennai Cheetahs Monday that is owned by a director and promoter of a South Indian mining company. "The WSH has officially concluded the franchise allocation process and is pleased to announce Chennai Sports Organizers Pvt Ltd (CSO) as the franchisee owners of southern metropolis Chennai," the organizers said in a statement. The organizers said the other franchises will be announced one by one for strategic reasons. The first four franchises will be by invitation while the remaining four will be through open bidding.
Bollywood superstars Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan and another popular actor from tinsel town Suneil Shetty are believed to have shown interest in the city-based franchises.
Around 176 players from India and across the world will participate in the World Series Hockey tournament, from December 15 to January 22, 2012. A joint venture between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, the World Hockey series will feature 61 matches. The captains of eight city-based franchisee teams were Sardara Singh, Adrian D'Souza, Arjun Halappa and Prabhjot Singh. The four other teams will be captained by Australia's Brent Livermore, Pakistan's Rehan Butt, former Spain captain Rodrigo Garza and Argentina's Lucas Vila. Six venues for the five-week long tournament have been identified and thy include Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab (Amritsar, Jalandhar and Chandigarh) Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
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