A senior Pakistani hockey player has said that the rebel World Series Hockey (WSH) is a better option for the country's players than the Hockey India (HI) League, which is planned to take off from January 2013.
The HI League will enjoy the affiliation of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), unlike the unauthorised WSH, the participants of which had to lock horns with their respective federations for taking part in the competition. The HI League will comprise six teams with each franchise comprising a pool of 24 players, including ten overseas players.
The player, who featured in the inaugural edition of the WSH earlier this year, said the HI league was 'just designed to favour Indians', reports The Express Tribune.
"It's not suitable for foreign players. The event is designed for improvement of Indian players who will also earn more than the others. The players earned Rs 5-10 million from the WSH, while the HI league is offering cheaper contracts to foreign players. It's just because of cordial relations that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has agreed to send the names otherwise the event will not help our players in anyway," he said.
"This may be the reason why Abbas has still not signed the contract. I'll advise Pakistan players to feature in the WSH because that's giving a financial boost," he added.
Meanwhile, HI Secretary General and league's chairman Narinder Batra has termed the remarks premature.
"No one can judge the HI league's worth at the moment. Let it start first. It's equally beneficial for foreign and local players alike. As far as financial gain is concerned, it depends on the auctions next month," said Batra. He added that those favouring the WSH must know that the league is yet to clear many dues.
"The best player of the tournament is yet to receive his reward from the WSH," he said. (ANI)