Hyderabad: The trophy for the Premier Hockey League was unveiled in Hyderabad today.The league features 13 foreign players besides the cream of Indian hockey talent.Most of the foreign players are from Pakistan.Questions raisedThis has raised questions over whether the tournament, devoid of any major European presence, will benefit Indian players."The Holland, Germany league sessions happen at this time. So many Europeans could not come at this time," explained Gagan Ajit Singh, Captain, Sher-e-Jalandhar. "But there is good stuff. Players from Pakistan, Malaysia and Escarre, captain of Spain, will be taking part. We will have healthy competition," Singh added."Whoever is coming, be it Pakistan or Spain, our youngsters will benefit from the experience of playing with them," said Dilip Tirkey, Captain, Hyderabad Sultans.New formatThe new playing format of the game will have four quarters of 17 minutes 30 seconds instead of the traditional two halves. Players say that may bring the much needed pace to domestic hockey."In international hockey, the foreign coaches use the rolling substitution to roll players. Players give everything in the 10-15 minutes. The time-outs will be a good experience for us,'' said Viren Rasquinha, Captain, Maratha Warriors.Purists, however, argue that while the Kerry Packer version of Indian hockey will be good for television viewing, it still does not address the sport's basic problem. The policy of compulsorily retiring seniors and bringing in juniors has not paid off and the game of musical chairs among the coaches has only complicated matters.
Topics : Hockey