New Delhi: With a young team led by the enigmatic Sardar Singh showing glimpses of India's past prowess, there are now hopes an upcoming professional league likened to the money-rich Indian Premier League will help resurrect the sport's former glory. Indians were long considered the kings of field hockey - winning eight Olympic gold medals - but that dominance has dwindled since the introduction of synthetic turf pitches in the 1970s. India's fourth-place finish at last year's Champions Trophy with a young squad led by versatile player Sardar Singh offered hope for the future, just in time for the proposed league to find some new backers. The Hockey India League, which has the sanction of world body FIH and is organized by Hockey India, will be held at a range of venues from Jan. 14-Feb. 10 featuring five city-based franchise teams - Delhi Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos.
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