FORMER Mackay player Matt Swann's introduction to the Hockey India League got off to a slow start with a loss in his team's opening match overnight.
Swann is one of 15 Australian Kookaburras players auctioned to play in the league, which comprises five franchises.
A crowd of more than 2000 watched as the Delhi Waveriders continued on their winning way by overcoming a spirited challenge from Mumbai Magicians to prevail 2-1 at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium in New Delhi.
Rupinder Pal Singh (26th minute) and Norris Jones (49th) scored for Delhi while Sandeep Singh sounded the board for Mumbai in the 50th minute.
Mumbai could have earned itself a draw had Sandeep not let go a golden opportunity in the dying minutes of the match.
Swann was auctioned to join the league for $48,800, making it his biggest payday in hockey.
The Mumbai Magicians are coached by Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth.
Hockey is the second most popular sport in India after cricket, and the new league is aiming to tap into the massive support given to the India Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition.
Semi-finals will be played on February 9, with the final on February 10.
Swann will return to Holland following the league to continue his season in the European league, based in Amsterdam.
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