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.

Innovative new business to open in Biloela

COLLECTIVE SPIRIT: Josie Rigney will also be selling her own goods in the shop, trading as The Dainty Cup.

Kariboe St Collective will allow vendors to share space and costs.

Panthers name new captain for 2017 season

NEW ROLE: Panthers captain Karl Stevens is chasing success in Rockhampton after Biloela took out their home 9-a-side competition earlier this month.

Karl Stevens takes over the role from coach Ryan Wilson.

Division 6 campaign enters final stretch

GETTING IN TOUCH: Division 6 candidate Bronwyn Christensen (left) with Des Howe, Bill Stevens and Joy Stevens at the opening of the Theodore Men's Shed earlier this month.

Bronwyn Christensen and Terri Boyce in final push for votes.

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!