In India cricket has gained huge fan followers than any other sports. Steps are taken by other sports authorities to familiarize other games. The Hero Hockey India League shortly known as HIL is introduced to popularize Hockey among Indians. Twenty20 leagues of cricket, inspired for such an innovative idea, and the results turn out fruitful when crores of individuals watched the matches. Hockey India league provided a new platform for the sport and it was previous planned for a schedule of January 5 to February 3, but due to certain reasons it is scheduled to January 14 to February 10.
Five teams took part in the tournament of which Ranchi Rhinos won the championship. Delhi Wave riders hold the second place while Uttar Pradesh Wiards are the second runner ups. Formats were repetitive and the five teams compete with one another until the semi finals. The league started with a promising beginning and it draws world top celebrities, and a flash of bollywood actress that added to the glamour of the show. Live television coverage from ESPN-Star Network telecasted the presence of reasonable crowds for the league. It was expected by the organizers that an average of 3000 visitors per match in the different venues for different games. Along with live audience the television coverage estimated a viewership of 15millon, but it was only for the first six matches, summing that the numbers exceed further sports actions like India’s domestic football matches.
Money for conducting the league matches are sponsored by peak business groups of India Including the Sahara, a well known sports sponsorship of India, Jaypee the construction group which is familiar in the nation for its quality of cements.
Players for the HIL are selected through an auction in New Delhi, and players are paid for huge sums which are to no avail in hockey matches. Even players that are not paid fee for playing to the country are paid a good amount and the agreement is made for the next few years.
Captain of Indian hockey team Sardar Singh was chosen by the Delhi wave riders and he is allotted to pay a contract of $78,000 per event over the subsequent three years. Similar is the case with the international Hockey Federation player of the year Moritz Fuerste, which is picked for Ranchi Rhinos for a sum of $75,000. But the prevalent doubt among most of the fan followers of hockey and commentators are if the initial passion for these league matches will sustain among the sponsors and the fans.
Since Hockey in India remains as an inconsistent game these attempts made by the organizers are showing good results and many people are showing interest to check out the league games and increase their knowledge on hockey. Bollywood star Akshay kumar performed at the end of a match and tickets were sold out at a rapid phase to view his performance in live. HIL matches are showing a bright future for hockey in India and it is believed to gain reputation among the people of India.