Recently in News is a great Initiative. IHF and Nimbus announced to form a Hockey League which will start in November 2011 and end in Feb with over 250 Players and 100 Matches. What is good is that WSH will cover the flaws that PHL had. All the matches of PHL were held in just one city. Hence what incentive would have any fan have to watch a match between Pune and Chennai. Such matches had empty stadiums while matches of Sher e Jallandar or Chandigarh Dynamos had full houses in Chandigarh. When the tournament was help in Hyderabad, we had similar full houses for local teams. This shows Hockey has following. It may not be as popular as Cricket but still has a decent enough following
WSH has announced that it will be a 10 team competition. Each Team will be of a Franchisee which will be owned by some corporate or person just like IPL teams. I tried to anticipate the city which could have IPL teams. They can be broadly classified into 3 categories
1. Cities where hockey is really popular
2. Cities which have good economy and population to support any such initiative.
3. Cities which have initiative to support such initiative.
In the first category I would put the following Cities:- Chandigarh, Ludhiana & Jallandar, Rourkela
In 2nd category would be following towns:- Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Chandigarh
In 3rd category the cities are:- Kanpur, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Guwahti (and Imphal Combined) & Ranchi, Nagpur
This makes a list of 20 Cities. In the long term the WSH should be a 20 city spectacle with 380 matches and around 450 players involved. This would give a complete following and all parts of India involved in it.
The tournament should be held for 90 days with 30 Matches per week. The match timings can be 6 to 7.30 PM, 7.30 to 9 PM, 9 to 10.30 PM, 10.30 to 12 PM on weekdays and on Saturday Sunday and extra match from 4.30 to 6 PM. This would give an excellent TV as well as Stadium Crowds. The earlier slots can be given to teams of smaller cities as people there can easily finish office and reach the stadium by 6 and later slots to bigger cities. Such an slotting would also mean complete house full in stadiums.
Hence the Total 20 teams can be by any names. If I steal PHL and IPL names then teams can be
1. Mumbai Thunders
2. Maratha Warriors Pune
3. Hyderabad Sultans
4. Bangalore Hi Fliers
5. Chennai Veerans
6. Kochi Champs
7. Chandigarh Dynamos
8. Sher e Jallandar (Also have Ludhiana as a part too)
9. Delhi Dazzlers
10. Lucknow Nawabs
11. Kanpur Warriors
12. Bhopal Super Kings
13. Indore Chargers
14. Ranchi Challengers
15. Rourkela Steelers
16. Kolkotta Tigers
17. Ahmedabad Lions
18. Imphal and Guwahati Rangers
19. Jaipur Royals
20. Nagpur Thunders
As of now the players should be selected by draft system, where 4 foreign players in playing 11 should be allowed. Also 2 players from under 21 should be compulsory be there in the team. 40 Indian players would be allowed as Icon player and ranked. As per the draft system each team could get a max of 2 of these players.
Hence in a squad each team could have such a recommended structure:- Total squad of 22, with 2 Icon players, 5 Indian players from draft system, 3 Indian players from the Catchment Area, 4 Youth Players & 8 foreign players. The playing 11 would be like 4 Foreign players, 2 youth players and 5 Indian Player with at least 1 from catchment area.
It would give a chance to Indian players, youth players, have a local tinge to team with at least 3 local players- 2 Youth and 1 catchment area player. It would also give an exposure to players against Indian Ikon players as well as good foreign players. Coaches can be from any area. Good foreign players will bring new styles. The Indians would learn a lot. With money coming in, more people get interested.
In any case it is not to rival cricket. India has a huge population and can cater to each sports as well as different timings can ensure full houses for both the sports IPL and WSH.
However if I look at present which can be the 10 teams it can be as follows
I hope the league picks up and is a super hit