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Doha: Indian captain Sardar Singh (pictured) feels he is ‘lucky but not surprised’ that he emerged as the highest-paid player at the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) auction on Sunday night.
The mid-fielder who led India in the just-concluded Champions Trophy in Melbourne, was bought by Delhi franchise for $78,000.
Sardar said HIL is the best thing to happen to hockey in India.
“Some of the worlds best players will be playing in the League and thus it will provide the Indian players an opportunity to learn and improve our game. With such high profile players around there is lot the youngsters can learn, said the 26-year-old.
HIL, which is due to start next month, is structured on the lines of cricket’s popular Indian Premier League.
“I think I am lucky but not surprised by the amount and happy to top the list,” added Sardar, also the brand ambassador of the League.
The midfielder said the Qatar tournament is not just about the India-Pakistan match, but China, Japan, Malaysia and Oman are all tough opponents.
“Some of the best teams are here from Asian not just Pakistan and we cannot take any team lightly. So we will going match by match. We will see how it goes.
The captain was surprised that the team bounced back to finish fourth in the Champions Trophy in Australia after the disappointing show at the London 2012 Olympics where India finished last.
“I didn’t seriously expect such a show from the boys. The youngster really played out of their skin all credit goes to the youngsters. We fought really well against the teams like New Zealand, England and Belgium. The camp ahead of the Champions Trophy in Patiala worked for us,” added Sardar.