Mumbai: The World Series Hockey announced the eight franchises and their squads after a players draft on Monday.
Dismissing threats of a possible ban by Hockey India on local players participating in the World Series Hockey (WSH), the organisers of the multi-million dollar tournament on Monday said that all those who have signed up will certainly play in the upcoming event.
"I am extremely happy to say that all Indian players who have signed up for the WSH will 100 per cent play in the event," said Yannick Colaco, chief operating officer of Nimbus Sports, which has floated the League in association with the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
IHF, headed by RK Shetty, is not recognised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) which has given affiliation to rival body Hockey India and has declared WSH as an unsanctioned tournament.
Colaco, after the announcement of the players draft on Monday, said WSH's dates were scheduled as an ideal preparation for the national team ahead of next year's Olympic qualifiers in Delhi.
"As per the dates announced earlier the camp for the pre-Olympic qualifiers was to start on January 24 and WSH ends on January 22. We had fixed the dates to prepare the Indian team for the Olympic qualifiers," he said.
Asked about the reported threat of Pakistan Hockey Federation to stop its players from taking part in the WSH, Colaco said, "We have not received any letter from the PHF till yesterday."
"All the players who have signed up are going to play. In fact, the government has cleared their visas. Three off them are arriving on December 1 and the rest on December 5," he added.
Former India coach Jose Brasa said that pressure has been put on the national bodies by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to change their statutes so as to force the players to seek green signal from their national federations to play in tournaments overseas.
"The FIH has sent a letter to the national federations to change their statute and allow players to take part in events overseas only after getting their permission," said Brasa, the coach of the Chennai franchise in the eight-team WSH.
"This is a clear move to prevent our players from playing in WSH. I have lodged a complaint against this directive in my country - Spain - with the body overseeing the national federations, similar to SAI (Sports Authority of India) here. I have asked it not to allow the Spanish hockey federation to change its statute," he added.
Goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza, who attended the player draft as captain of the Mumbai franchise along with Prabhjot Singh, who is to lead Punjab, refused to comment about Hockey India's proposed national camp during the WSH.
"I don't want to talk about the camp. Please ask me about WSH," he said point blank.
Former India international Mervyn Fernandes, manager of Pune, said WSH would benefit the Indian players immensely.
"By playing in WSH with foreign players, the Indians would learn the art of receiving the ball when confronted with man-to-man marking. If we can do it it will improve our hockey," said the one-time ace forward.
Another ex-international Jude Felix, coach of Karnataka franchise, said playing in WSH would also financially benefit players.
"Hockey is a poor man's sport. Players would get the kind of money which they have never got before. All the more reason for them to play in WSH before the (Olympic) qualifiers," he said.
The various squads:
Bhopal: Goalkeepers: Baljeet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh; Defenders: V R Raghunath, Baljinder Singh, Harbir Singh, Andrew Eversden, Shailendra Singh, Kangujam Suresh Singh; Midfielders: Waseem Ahmad, Casey Henwood, Alfonso Pombo, Girish Pimpale, Mohd. Sahir, David Seddon, Cheeyanna A B, Sardar Singh (Capt.); Forwards: Shivendra Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Tushar Khandekar, Sameer Dad, N Senthil Kumar, Armaan Quereshi. Coach: V Bhaskaran.
Chandigarh: Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, P T Rao; Defenders: Gurjinder Singh, Mathew Phillips; Midfielders: Robert Green, Preetinder Singh Sidhu, Jiwa Mohan, Ajitesh Roy, Birender Lakra, Lloyd Stephenson, Barkat Singh, Sandeep Singh; Forwards: Rehan Butt (Capt.), Sarvanjit Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Bharat Chikara, Mohammed Amir, Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar, Sher Singh, Pramod Kumar, Jasjit Singh Kular, Ranjodh Singh, Sanawar Ali. Coach: Harendra Singh
Chennai: Goalkeeper: Bharat Chetri; Defender: Dhananjay Mahadik, Amit Prabhakar, Syed Imran Warsi, Chintakunta Santosh Kumar, Samir Baxla, Gauravjeet Singh; Midfielders: Brent Livermore (Capt.), Vikas Sharma, Vikram Pillay, Joseph Reardon, Amardeep Ekka, Rafeeq S M; Forwards: Veerasamy Raja, Danish Mujtaba, Dharamvir Singh, Benedikt Sperling, Peter Kelly, Adam Sinclair, Sandeep Antil, Roderik Huber, S Arumugam. Coach: Jose Brasa.
Delhi: Goalkeepers: Kamaldeep Singh, Mrinal Choubey; Defenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Keisham Roshan, Manjeet Kullu, Lovedeep Singh, C S Khalko; Midfielders: Gurbaj Singh, Patrick Harris, Vickram Kanth, Matias Minz, Vivek Gupta, Anand Tirkey, Martijn de Jager; Forwards: Lucas Vila (Capt.), Shakeel Abbasi, Manoj Antil, K Victo Singh, Rodrigo Vila, Rajpal Singh, Bruno Lugun. Coach: Roelant Oltmans.
Karnataka: Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan, Jagdeep Dayal; Defenders: Sandeep Singh, Inocent Kullu, Zeeshan Ashraf, Sandeep Singh Jr, Abhishek Singh; Midfielders: Arjun Halappa (Capt.), S K Uthappa, Ignace Tirkey, Ravipal Singh, Adnan Maqsood, Nitin Kumar, Tommy Hammond, Gursev Singh, B Nagalingaswamy; Forwards: Dhanraj Pillai, Nitin Thimmaiah, Eli Matheson, Jarnail Singh, Amar Aiyamma, Arjun Antil, Vinayak Bijwad. Coach: Jude Felix.
Mumbai: Goalkeepers: Adrian D'Souza (Capt.), Sudhir Dixit; Defender: Melchior Looijen; Midfielders: Sung Min, Viren Rasquinha, Prabodh Tirkey, Devender Walmiki, Rajesh Kumar, Phelie Maguire, Conroy Remedios, Errol D'Silva; Forwards: Pedro Ibarra, Pradhan Somanna, Yuvraj Walmiki, S V Sunil, Juan Martin Lopez, Connor Grimes, G M Hariprasad, Anup Antony, Jay Karan, Joga Singh, Aijub Ekka, Shashi Topno. Coach: Andrew Meredith.
Pune: Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Guri, Sunny Samuel; Defenders: Rodrigo Garza (Capt.), Diwakar Ram, Sunil Yadav, Vinod Nair: Midfielders: Vikas Pillay, Vikram Yadav, Tyron Pereira, Gurpreet Singh, Amit Gowda, Alvin Alexander; Forwards: Gurvinder Singh Chandi, K Chinglensena Singh, Facundo Callioni, Bikash Toppo, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Roshan Minz, Birendra Lakra, Damandeep Singh, Alden D'Souza, Poonacha M G. Coach: Gundeep Singh
Punjab: Goalkeepers: Dinesh Ekka, Sukhjeet Singh; Defenders: Maik Gunther, Harpal Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, William Xalco; Midfielders: V S Vinaya, Mathias Vila, Andreu Enrich, Imran Khan; Forwards: Prabhjot Singh (Capt.), Akashdeep Singh, Deepak Thakur, Gagandeep Singh, Steven Faaij, Karamjit Singh, Mandeep Antil, Tariq Aziz, Inderjit Singh, Gurjant Singh, Chris Seddon, Didar Singh, Prabhdeep Singh. Coach: Rajinder Singh.