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.

Electoral commission closes Goovigen, Dululu polling places

A pre-polling station at Biloela Court House. Photo Andrew Thorpe/Central Telegraph

Voters will have to travel to Wowan or Jambin State Schools.

LNP announces $30 million Bowen Basin jobs package

Ken O'Dowd makes an announcement at the Mt Larcom Show. Saturday 25 June, 2016.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd is 1 of 3 Coalition MPs promoting the policy.

Labor promises NBN priority for Moura, Biloela

NBN workers install fibre optic cable. Photo: Ipswich Times.

Flynn candidate Zac Beers says ALP would prioritise region.

Latest deals and offers

Why closing the gaps is not black and white

Three leading indigenous experts have called on the ALP and the Coalition to ensure the Banana Shire's 763 Aboriginal residents get a fair go this election.

Electoral commission closes Goovigen, Dululu polling places

A pre-polling station at Biloela Court House. Photo Andrew Thorpe/Central Telegraph

Voters will have to travel to Wowan or Jambin State Schools.

LNP announces $30 million Bowen Basin jobs package

Ken O'Dowd makes an announcement at the Mt Larcom Show. Saturday 25 June, 2016.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd is 1 of 3 Coalition MPs promoting the policy.

Labor promises NBN priority for Moura, Biloela

NBN workers install fibre optic cable. Photo: Ipswich Times.

Flynn candidate Zac Beers says ALP would prioritise region.

Road deaths in Banana Shire more than triple city rate

Banana Shire fatal crash hot spots. Photo: ARM Newsdesk

Cheap upgrades to country roads could save lives in our regions.

Biloela mum takes refugee ration challenge

Sarah Broadley with her breakfast for Tuesday morning. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph

Sarah Broadley aims to raise $1000 for Syrian refugees.

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward