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Sardar any more NOT SO SPECIAL.

Sold for just $58,000 in HIL auction while others hit pay dirt

SARDAR Singh,the poster boy of the Indian men's hockey team,is used to being in the limelight. But at Thursday's Hockey India League auction,the midfield general was brought down to earth as his price nosedived to $ 58,000.

The India skipper,who led the Delhi Waveriders to the HIL title in 2014,had been bought for $ 78,000 before the inaugural edition.

But after he was not among the six players retained by the franchise ahead of the 2016 tournament,

tournament,Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to catch Sardar by paying a significantly lower amount.

Kalinga Lancers broke the bank to acquire German Moritz Fuerste,the double Olympic gold medallist and 2006 World Cup winner fetching $ 105,000. It is the highest bid in HIL history.

Among Indians,forward Akashdeep Singh was the big gainer as he went for $ 84,000 to Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

But the major talking point of

the day was the relative lack of interest shown in the best Indian player in the last decade. To put it in perspective,much lesser known players and India discards commanded a much higher price.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors had to overcome Uttar Pradesh Wizards to acquire Sardar,but they managed to do it without a big price.

It must be emphasised that the change in regulation,according to which a field goal will count as two,also influenced the franchise representatives who participated in the auction.

Young defender Gurmail Singh ( Dabang Mumbai) and out- offavour drag- flicker Sandeep Singh ( Ranchi Rays) went for $ 81,000 each. Young forward Mandeep Singh went to Delhi Waveriders for $ 70,000 and Gurwinder Singh Chandi to Jaypee

Punjab Warriors for $ 75,000.

Sardar was not the only stalwart fetching a relatively low price.

Aussie legend Jamie Dwyer managed just $ 57,000 from Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

"Strikers are more in demand as compared to midfielders or any other players." Harendra Singh,who guided Ranchi Rays to the title last year,said.

It was a good day for Germans as apart from Fuerste,several others too scored big in the auction.

Florian Fuchs ( Dabang Mumbai) and Tobias Hauke,the 2012 FIH Player of the Year,( Uttar Pradesh Wizards) were acquired for $ 96,000.

Kalinga Lancers are hoping for a contribution from Fuerste in proportion to his big price tag.

"Since the last two editions,Kalinga Lancers has not been performing well and this is why we wanted to buy the best players," chief mentor Dilip Tirkey said.

They would hope the German does not go the Tom Boon way.

The Belgian was the most expensive buy at last year's auction,but did not have the desired impact for Dabang Mumbai.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Sep 18, 2015
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