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Jan 14, 2013 at 05:49pm IST

Hockey is our mother sport, not cricket: Navjot Singh Sidhu

New Delhi: Appointed as the brand ambassador of Hockey India League (HIL) by STAR Sports, former India cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu said hockey is our mother sport and the HIL will galvanise the growth of the game in the country.

Speaking at an unveiling ceermony of STAR Sport's star-studded panel of experts and presenters for the Hindi and English broadcast, Sidhu said, "Hockey is our mother sport. Overall, HHIL offers a brilliant marketing package to popularise the game. I believe this league will act as a catalyst to galvanise the growth of hockey in the country and revive interest amongst the youth.

"I am looking forward to this exciting event and will definitely attend as many matches as I can," Sidhu, who has been roped in as the brand ambassador cum presenter on the pre-match shows, said.

Hockey is our mother sport, not cricket: Sidhu

A total of 34 matches will be played across 28 days on home and away basis across five franchisee cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Ranchi.

The official broadcaster of the league unveiled a panel of experts who will do commentary during the live telecast as well as pre- and post-match analysis throughout. The Hindi commentary panel includes Mir Ranjan Negi, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh. The English commentary panel comprises of Viren Rasquinha, Cedric D'Souza, AB Subbaiah and Sandeep Somesh.

Speaking on the occasion, Aloke Malik, Managing Director of the ESPN Software Pvt. Ltd., informed about the magnitude of investment that has gone into the league. "The league includes a total expenditure of Rs. 50 crore out of which we have spent Rs. 20 crore on marketing the league," he said.