New Delhi: Young striker Ramandeep Singh today fetched the highest price in the closed bidding for next year's Hockey India League after he was picked up by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for USD 81,000.
Ramandeep, whose base price was set at USD 2600, came to the limelight in the ninth men's Asia Cup and third Sultan of Johor Cup this year. He scored his maiden goal in his debut match at the Asia Cup, besides netting six goals in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Another young striker Nikin Thimmaiah got the second highest bid amongst the domestic players when he fetched USD 59,000 from the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
Veteran India forwards Prabhjot Singh and Bharat Chhikara also managed to attract buyers in today's close bidding.
Both Prabhjot and Chhikara were bought by Dabur Mumbai Magicians for USD 46,000 and USD 32,000 respectively.
Among other Indian junior players, defender Gurjinder Singh was picked up by Dabur Mumbai Magicians for USD 56,000, while forward Affan Yousuf was bought by Jaypee Punjab Warriors for USD 35,000.
Amongst the overseas players, Ryan Archibald of New Zealand became the most expensive player when the new and sixth franchise of HIL, Kalinga Lancers picked him up for USD 71,000.
In today's closed bid, six franchises picked up a total of 49 Indian and overseas players for the second season of the HIL.
Out of the total 154, the list of 49 players who were sold in the bid includes 28 Indians and 21 overseas players.
The newly-introduced franchise Kalinga Lancers from Odisha bought 24 new players while Ranchi Rhinos bought one player, Dabur Mumbai Magicians 11 players, Uttar Pradesh Wizards four players, Jaypee Punjab Warriors five players and Delhi Waveriders four players.
The six franchises spent USD 1.37 million to buy 49 players from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Ireland, England, South Africa and India.
The sixth and new entrant of HIL, Kalinga Lancers was jointly bought by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and will be based out of Bhubaneshwar.
Former India captain Dilip Tirkey will be the mentor of the team while newly-appointed Indian men's team foreign coach Terry Walsh has been appointed as the chief coach.
In another development, Cedric D'Souza will replace AK Bansal as the coach of Delhi Waveriders. Bansal will assist Walsh in the Kalinga Lancers team.
Meanwhile, in the trading window which was opened from August 19 to September 30, Dabur Mumbai Magicians traded two players Sandeep Singh and Satbir Singh to Jaypee Punjab Warriors.
Hockey India secretary general and Hockey India League chairman Narinder Batra welcomed the new franchise, Kalinga Lancers to the HIL family.
"It's great to see that promising junior players have been bought by franchises at higher than the expected amounts which is a good sign for the future of Indian hockey," he said.
Batra also informed that Pakistani players are unlikely to feature in the second edition of HIL as well as the Pakistan Hockey Federation has not yet sent No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to Hockey India....