The fifth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) will kick off on Jan 21 when the 2015 Champions Ranchi Rays take on Dabang Mumbai at the latter's home patch. The final of the league will be contested on Feb 26 in Chandigarh - home of the defending Champions Punjab Warriors.




The tournament, which is considered the richest hockey league in the world, will take place for a little over a month, with the knock-out clashes and the final set to take place on the 25 and 26 February respectively, with six sides battling it out for the top honours.



Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who lifted the title last year after beating Ranchi Rays in the summit clash, begin their title defence against Dabang Mumbai on 27 January at the the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai.






Last season's runner-ups Kalinga Lancers will hope to go one step further when they start their campaign against the 2014 winners Delhi Waveriders in Bhubaneswar. The Uttar Pradesh Wizards will play Dabang Mumbai in their first game of the 2017 edition in Mumbai on Jan 24. Mumbai will then host the Champions Punjab Warriors on Jan 27 for the latter's first match of the tournament.





Ranchi Rays made the first move in the league when they acquired Gurbaj Singh for $99,000. Ranchi continued the spree with the signing of German forward Christopher Ruhr for an impressive $75,000. Tom Craig (Kalinga Lancers), Robert van der Horst (Punjab Warriors) and Seve Van Ass (Uttar Pradesh Wizards) were among the top signings in the league.



"We hope to raise the bar again this season, by increasing reach to more fans via innovative mediums as well as better revenues for players and sponsors. At the heart of its concept, the HIL benefits our Indian players development immensely by allowing them to play alongside some the best players in the world hence learning new techniques that go a long way during the hockey season," HIL chairman Narinder Dhruv Batra had said earlier.



Some of the other players to watch out for in the tournament are Sardar Singh (Jaypee Punjab Warriors), Florian Fuchs (Dabang Mumbai), Nikkin Thimmaiah (Dabang Mumbai), PR Sreejesh and VR Raghunath (Uttar Pradesh Wizards).


Among the many developments in the build-up to the tournament is that of Dabang Mumbai joining hands with Hockey Australia to promote the sport at the grassroots level in the city with a programme named ‘Hookin2Hockey'. The programme will cover modules like ‘Coach the coaches sessions', ‘Training sessions for juniors (12-16 years), ‘Grassroot programme for U-12' which will be followed by a ‘Round robin tournament' on the last day.



Here's the full schedule of the league.



Teams - Punjab Warriors(Champions), Ranchi Rays, UP Wizards, Dabang Mumbai, Delhi Waveriders and Kalinga Lancers

Venues - Chandigarh, Ranchi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bhubaneshwar.

TV listings - Star Sports 2/HD and Star Sports 3/HD

Timing - 7:00 PM IST

Hockey India League Schedule 2017
DATETIMEHOMEAWAYVENUE
Jan 2107:00 PMDabang MumbaiRanchi RaysMumbai
Jan 2207:00 PMKalinga LancersDelhi WaveridersBhubaneswar
Jan 2307:00 PMKalinga LancersRanchi RaysBhubaneswar
Jan 2407:00 PMDabang MumbaiUttar Pradesh WizardsMumbai
Jan 25Rest
Jan 2607:00 PMRanchi RaysKalinga LancersRanchi
Jan 2707:00 PMDabang MumbaiJaypee Punjab WarriorsMumbai
Jan 2807:00 PMRanchi RaysDelhi WaveridersRanchi
Jan 2907:00 PMKalinga LancersUttar Pradesh WizardsBhubaneswar
Jan 3007:00 PMDabang MumbaiDelhi WaveridersMumbai
Jan 3107:00 PMDabang MumbaiKalinga LancersMumbai
Feb 0107:00 PMRanchi RaysJaypee Punjab WarriorsRanchi
Feb 0207:00 PMRanchi RaysDabang MumbaiRanchi
Feb 0307:00 PMKalinga LancersJaypee Punjab WarriorsBhubaneswar
Feb 0407:00 PMRanchi RaysUttar Pradesh WizardsRanchi
Feb 0507:00 PMKalinga LancersDabang MumbaiBhubaneswar
Feb 06Rest
Feb 0707:00 PMDelhi WaveridersJaypee Punjab WarriorsDelhi
Feb 0807:00 PMDelhi WaveridersUttar Pradesh WizardsDelhi
Feb 0907:00 PMJaypee Punjab WarriorsRanchi RaysChandigarh
Feb 1007:00 PMUttar Pradesh WizardsKalinga LancersLucknow
Feb 1107:00 PMJaypee Punjab WarriorsDabang MumbaiChandigarh
Feb 1207:00 PMDelhi WaveridersKalinga LancersDelhi
Feb 13Rest
Feb 1407:00 PMJaypee Punjab WarriorsUttar Pradesh WizardsChandigarh
Feb 1507:00 PMDelhi WaveridersDabang MumbaiDelhi
Feb 1607:00 PMUttar Pradesh WizardsRanchi RaysLucknow
Feb 1707:00 PMJaypee Punjab WarriorsDelhi WaveridersChandigarh
Feb 1807:00 PMJaypee Punjab WarriorsKalinga LancersChandigarh
Feb 1907:00 PMUttar Pradesh WizardsDelhi WaveridersLucknow
Feb 2007:00 PMUttar Pradesh WizardsJaypee Punjab WarriorsLucknow
Feb 2107:00 PMDelhi WaveridersRanchi RaysDelhi
Feb 2207:00 PMUttar Pradesh WizardsDabang MumbaiLucknow
Feb 23Rest
Feb 24Rest
Feb 25TBC SF1Team 1Team 4Chandigarh
TBC SF2Team 2Team 3
Feb 26TBC 3v4Loser M31Loser M32Chandigarh
TBC FinalWinner M31Winner M32




Where to watch:


The HIL can be viewed with English commentary on Star Sports 2 and HD 2. For Hindi commentary, one simply has to tune in to Star Sports 3 and HD 3.



Online streaming:


In the event one does not have a television around, one can simply log into Hotstar.com, the official website of the Star Sports network. Smartphone owners have the additional option of downloading the Hotstar app, available on both Android as well as on iOS.
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