London: The Hockey India League (HIL) is a key fixture in International Hockey Federation's calender as the event would help in enhancing the possibility of playing the game throughout the year, FIH chief executive Kelly Fairweather said.
The inaugural season of HIL finished in February this year, with five teams competing for top honours. "To come back to our (FIH's) philosophy of trying to have hockey throughout the year, this (HIL) is going to be a key fixture in that strategy," Fairweather said. He said the the FIH has received interests from other hockey playing nations to orgainse such leagues after the tremendous success of inaugural HIL.
"Will we have more leagues like this? We have received a lot of interest. There is already the European Hockey League which has been going for five years and we have received interest from other parts of the world. At the moment we want to bed down the Hockey India League in 2014, we have our World Cup in Holland in 2014, which is a joint World Cup," Fairweather was quoted as saying by iSportconnect.
"Then we are looking at expanding a women's equivalent of the Hockey India League, but that will probably be ready in 2015-2016," he added. "The first one (HIL) was really exciting. It was a bit of an unknown and it is no secret that it is based on the IPL model. There were over 50 million viewers and it went out to 83 countries. There were over ten million viewers over the semis and the final so it is heading in the right direction. There is also a big following on Facebook and Twitter."