Sport

Aussie hockey talent snapped up for new Indian league

Jamie Dwyer of Australia runs with the ball in the final between Australia and the Netherlands of the 2012 Champions Trophy at State Netball Hockey Centre on December 9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Jamie Dwyer of Australia runs with the ball in the final between Australia and the Netherlands of the 2012 Champions Trophy at State Netball Hockey Centre on December 9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

CHRISTMAS has come early for 15 of Australia's best hockey players, snapped up at auction for the newly-formed Hockey India League, the country's equivalent to the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket competition.

While the million-dollar paydays handed out to their cricketing cousins were nowhere to be seen (each of the 24 franchises was limited to a total of $US600,000), the money on offer is expected to extend the careers of some players and even attract more people to the sport.

Five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer was the highest-priced Aussie, snapped up by the Punjab Warriors for $78,200 for the four-week competition.

Other Australian players to attract the big dollars were Eddie Ockenden (Utter Pradesh Wizards - $65,000), Mark Knowles (Punjab Warriors - $57,000), Joel Carroll (Mumbai Magicians - $56,000) and Mathew Swann (Mumbai Magicians - $51,000).

Knowles said he watched the auction live in Tasmania where he is spending Christmas with his wife's family, and said it was a life-changing event.

"I'm very, very, very happy," the 28-year-old said.

"It will certainly make it easier to make decisions about playing for longer.

"I'm closer to the end of my career than the start, but it doesn't put so much pressure on to get a job."

While Knowles said the competition had come "about 10 years too late" for players like him and Dwyer, it would be great for the next generation of stars.

"For someone like Matt Butturini or Joel Carroll, to have it so early in their careers is fantastic," Knowles said.

"It will make a massive difference to what we can do in the sport Australia. Most guys even struggle for stick sponsors. Now, if guys are looking at AFL or soccer or hockey, they'll have more of a look at our sport."

Until the advent of the HIL, due to run from January 16 to February 10, the top players had to make do on the annual Hockey Australia contract of about $60,000-a-year, plus a fraction of that for the best players able to get a start in a professional league in the Netherlands.

Knowles said he hoped his previous success in India - he played in victorious Kookaburras teams in the 2010 World Cup and 2010 Commonwealth Games - would rub off on the Punjab Warriors.

"The squads look amazing ... very even, but we've got a very nice looking team," he said.

As well as himself and Dwyer, the Warriors, to be coached by Hockeyroos coach Barry Dancer, also includes Kookaburras regulars Kieran Govers, Simon Orchard, Chris Ciriello and Rob Hammond, as well as Argentinian captain Lucas Rey and outstanding Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

Topics:  australia, hockey, india, jamie dwyer, kookaburras


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Monto Roos gell to break the drought

Monto played Gayndah on May 21.

Training comes together for first win of the season.

Valleys snatch 1-0 victory despite O'Rourke injury

A Valleys player escapes the Cougars defence. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Pre-game injury fails to stop Biloela from claiming points.

Moura to host massive Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser

Division 5 candidate Brooke Leo.

Brooke Leo and Sarah Morris raise money to fight against cancer.

Latest deals and offers

Reformed man on a mission: 'Mad Dog' Mudford visits Thangool

COVERED in tattoos, wearing a patched vest and riding atop a Harley, Kevin ‘Mad Dog’ Mudford is an imposing sight.

Monto Roos gell to break the drought

Monto played Gayndah on May 21.

Training comes together for first win of the season.

Valleys snatch 1-0 victory despite O'Rourke injury

A Valleys player escapes the Cougars defence. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Pre-game injury fails to stop Biloela from claiming points.

Moura to host massive Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser

Division 5 candidate Brooke Leo.

Brooke Leo and Sarah Morris raise money to fight against cancer.

Car pulling caravan goes off the road on Leichhardt Hwy

Queensland Ambulance transported a 50-year-old Glenella woman to Mackay Base Hospital, after believing she was bitten by a brown snake.

Emergency service crews respond to Leichhardt Hwy crash

Calliope local enters race for Flynn

Independent candidate for Flynn Nathan Fletcher at the Callide Valley Show last Friday. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Nathan Fletcher will run as an independent in the federal election.

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked