The rise of T20 cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL) brought a change in fortunes of domestic cricket in the country, Hockey India are trying to bring about a similar change in hockey with plans of hosting a 7-a-side league.
A private body, 7Side Club, formed under the aegis of Hockey Punjab and Hockey India is coming up with a 7-a-sdie hockey league in the second week of June.
The name of the league is '7s' and it will be held in two different venues -- Jalandhar and Chandigarh.
The '7s' will be conducted in the double-leg league format. All the matches will be played under floodlights. There will be six teams in the league. Each team will be named after a city in Punjab.
"It's a private initiative and only after going through the plan HI gave the green signal. The bidding of the teams will start next months, and subsequently the franchises will name their teams, but it has to be city based names," said an HI official.
In total there will be 72 players, including foreigners, and each team will have a squad of 12 players.
The players in the 12-day long league will be placed in five different pay slabs, between Rs 2lakh for foreigners and Rs 25,000 for Under-21 players.
"Foreign players will get Rs 2 lakh each and every team will have one foreigner. The domestic international players are categorized in three different slabs A, B and C and they will get Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively. Apart from that 30 junior players (under-21) will get Rs 25,000 and will be allotted equally to all the six franchises," the HI official added.
The 7-a-side hockey will be played under the indoor hockey rules of the FIH, the world governing body of the sport. However it will be played on an outdoor astro-turf pitch.
"The FIH has told India to participate in the next indoor hockey world cup (2014). The start of the '7s' league will help us prepare for indoor hockey. It will also benefit players financially," he added.