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Retainers for hockey stars, no WSH: sources

Retainers for hockey stars, no WSH: sources

The Olympic probables will instead attend the national camp, with the top players expected to bag retainer contracts.

New Delh: The World Series Hockey (WSH) that begins later on Wednesday is set to lose its sheen as Hockey India (HI) is expected to offer retainer contracts to top national players and lure them into attending the national camp instead of playing for their WSH franchises.

Sources told IBNLive that a minimum contract of Rs. 15 lakh and a maximum of Rs. 40 lakh is being mulled by the national body. While it will infuse new life into the national game fraught with controversies and low payment, WSH – a brainchild of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus – may not be well received sans the country's best talent.

"The players have been showered with a lot of prize money after qualifying for the Olympics and the federation is thinking about offering retainerships. So understandably the players are going to give preference to the national team, which makes more sense as well," said the source. "The bracket [of retainership contracts] is expected to be from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh," the source informed.

HI has already announced a list of 48 probables for the national camp for the Olympic Games that begins in Bangalore on March 5. Since it coincides with the WSH, the players are expected to report for the national camp instead of their franchises. Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa were once again overlooked from the 48-strong list after being excluded from the squad for the Olympic qualifiers.

The Indian hockey team finished on top of the Olympic qualifiers on Sunday to make a comeback to the quadrennial event after missing the 2008 Games. The team remained unbeaten in the tournament where they defeated France 8-1 in the final to qualify. India won six matches in a row, scoring 44 goals. Sandeep Singh was the top-scorer of the tournament with 16 goals, including five in the final against France.
first published:February 29, 2012, 13:53 IST