This could just be Indian hockey's chance to break out from the obscurity of the past two decades. Nimbus Sport's partnership with the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to launch World Series Hockey (WSH) league is one more attempt to bring back to centre stage a game that has brought India eight Olympic golds and much glory.
Thirty-six top players have signed up to play in the league, which is fashioned around the IPL model to bring in the crowds: Franchisees will own the teams and matches will be played in various centres.
But success will depend on untangling the mess between the two national hockey bodies, IHF and Hockey India. Hockey India claims to be the official governing body for the sport in the country and is indignant that Nimbus has partnered with IHF. It has not ruled out launching a rival league. The IHF, on the sidelines since 2008, is on a vengeful comeback and is trying to make sure the league takes off.
It does not help matters that backers of the two bodies — KPS Gill (IHF) and Suresh Kalmadi (Hockey India) — are titans of sport-bureaucracy in India....more
01:49 PM, Jan 21, 2011