New Delhi: The vastly experienced Sohail Abbas is among 14 Pakistan hockey stars who have signed up for the inaugural Hockey India League to be held from Jan 5 to Feb 3 next year.
Rated among the world's best drag-flick exponents, Abbas has scored the most international goals in the history of hockey. He has scored 349 goals.
The exciting 19-year-old forward Ali Shan, who was among the final 20 probables for the Olympic Games, joins 13 players from the Pakistan squad that finished seventh in the London Games earlier this year.
The 14 players will be among the pool of about 80 overseas players in the HIL Players Auction to be held next month.
"We are delighted that the cream of Pakistan's Olympic Games squad has made itself available to play in the Hockey India League," Hockey India secretary-general and chairman Narinder Batra said.
"We know that the Indian fans will love to watch these stars as part of the six teams that will vie for honours in the exciting tournament that will raise the profile of the sport."
Pakistan Hockey Federation President Qasim Zia and Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa said they were happy that 14 players would be part of the HIL Players Auction.
"Our players are excited to be among those considered for the inaugural Hockey India League," Bajwa said.
"We are sure that the event will be a huge success, drawing the best talent from around the world."
The Pakistan players who will be part of the players' auction:
Goal-keepers:Imran Shah, Imran Butt; Defenders: Muhammed Irfan, Sohail Abbas, Muhammad Imran, Syed Kashif Shah; Midfielders: Muhammad Rizwan Jr, Fareed Ahmed, Rashid Mehmood, Muhammad Tousiq; Forwards: Muhammad Rizwan Sr, Shafqat Rasool, Waqas Muhammad, Ali Shan.