Mumbai: The second season of World Series Hockey, which is not recognised by the sport's world governing body FIH, is to be played from December 15, 2012 to January 20, 2013, it was announced on Thursday.
The first season of the tournament, a joint initiative of Nimbus Sport and Indian Hockey Federation, was held in February-March this year.
The organisers said they will deliver another successful season.
"We are delighted to announce the dates of World Series Hockey Season 2. Season 1 was a resounding success for all the stakeholders - players, commercial partners, franchise owners and above all the hockey fans," Yannick Colaco, COO of Nimbus Sport said.
"The second season will be bigger and better. We will shortly announce a host of new initiatives along with the format and schedule," said IHF president R K Shetty.
"World Series Hockey has clearly emerged as the biggest hockey league in the world and the second biggest sports league in India after IPL," he added.
According to the media release, WSH1 was watched in over 30 countries on television, including 32 million in India, and over 65 countries on YouTube.
Colaco told PTI that the format of the new season would be more or less the same as the opening one in which eight teams took part.
"The format would be more or less the same, but a final decision would be taken later," Colaco said.
Asked if he expected the same sort of support that the league received last year in the wake of India's dismal outing in the London Games, Colaco said the two matters were unrelated.
"When the Indian cricket team won the World Cup in 2011 and that was followed by IPL, there was poor response from the public. But last season the public response to IPL was overwhelming though it followed India's successive defeats in England and Australia," he said.
"It depends on the product and we believe we had delivered the product that we had promised last year," he added.
On Hockey India's plans to float their own league in conjunction with FIH, Colaco said as long as the game of hockey and players benefited, he had no issue.
"We had delivered a product that was promised by us. We wanted to raise the profile of hockey and we did it. It's up to the others, who want to conduct their league, to do so. As far as we are concerned if it is beneficial to the game and the players, we welcome it," he explained.
Asked about possibility of induction of new players who were not seen in WSH-1, Colaco said it was entirely upto the technical committee to take a decision.
"The technical committee is set to meet in October to decide on this," he said.
Other sources said that captain of the current gold medal winning German team in the London Olympics, Maxmimilian Mueller, has signed up to play in WSH-2.
Sources said that last year many overseas players were worried about their participation in the Olympics, but after watching Pakistan's WSH players pariticipating in the London Games, they have realised that the fear was unfounded.
Story first published on: Thursday, 06 September 2012 17:51 IST