Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Both Hockey India (HI) and the International Hockey federation (FIH) are mulling for the return of Hockey India League (HIL). The league was behind India’s quality supply chain and it resulted in the Indian team’s success in the 2016 Men’s World Cup and Tokyo Olympics.

According to sources, HI and FIH are discussing seriously to revive the HIL which has been stopped after 2027. The effort is on to attract potential investors and work on a window for the availability of the international stars for the defunct league. However, Odisha has been proactive to organise a Hockey League in the region.

The idea behind the regional league is to improve the quality of players in the State who will be in a ready condition to represent India in various international-level competitions.

“The goal is to have a strong club competition in this area and improve the quality of the players for international level,” said David John who has been roped in as the Director of Odisha Hockey.

“India doesn’t have a strong club system. The problem with the domestic players is that they don’t play enough competitive matches to keep themselves ready for the big stage. The aim is to provide them a proper platform where they will play competitive hockey and hone the subtle nuances of the game,” said John.

Though the plan seems to be revolutionary for the upliftment of grassroots-level hockey, the success of the plan will depend upon its proper implementation.