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German players blitzkrieg HIL auction; Akashdeep most expensive Indian

GERMAN PLAYERS, led by ace playmaker Moritz Fuerste, stole the show at the second Hockey India League (HIL) auction held at a five-star hotel in New Delhi on Thursday.

Two-time Olympic champion Fuerste, breaking the $100,000-mark, was sold for $105,000 to Kalinga Lancers from a base price of $30,000.

Talented forward Akashdeep Singh went for $84,000, proving to be the costliest Indian. 

Franchises Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards were leading the race in securing the midfielder. The Lancers entered the race much later, when the bid was in $90,000s, to steal the 2006 World Cup winner for the highest price of the morning, which none of the other bidders could match.

Fuerste's compatriots Florian Fuchs and Tobias Hauke were both sold for the second highest price -- $96,000 -- to Dabang Mumbai and Wizards, respectively. While defender Hauke had a base price of $25,000, striker Fuchs was based $5,000 lower.

Earlier, the Lancers, Wizards and Dabang Mumbai were in the fight to secure the 23-year-old Fuchs but Lancers soon pulled out, leaving only Wizards and Mumbai in the race. Eventually, Dabang Mumbai beat the Wizards to take the German.

Akashdeep Singh proved to be the costliest Indian, selling for $84,000 to the Wizards from a base price of $20,000 while defenders Sandeep Singh and Gurmail Singh were both sold for an astounding price of $81,000 to Ranchi Rays and Dabang Mumbai.

However, India captain Sardar Singh drew a damp squib as he got sold for $58,000 -- not even fitting in the category of the top-10 most expensive Indians -- Jaypee Punjab Warriors.

Forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi also notched up a surprise package of $75,000 from a base price of $20,000 to become the fourth most expensive Indian, going to the Warriors.

Both striker Mandeep Singh and ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh were sold to the Waveriders for $70,000 and $68,000. Forward Nikkin Thimmaiah was sold for $67,000 to Dabang Mumbai while Jasjit Singh Kular was sold to Jaypee Punjab Warriors for $65,000.

Australian midfielder Matthew Swann was the highest priced Australian, going to Mumbai for $75,000 followed by compatriot Matt Gohdes for $71,000.

South African Austin Smith was the surprise package, being sold to the Waveriders for $59,000.

Two Aussie greats were sold for almost similar prices -- Simon Orchard went to the Warriors for $58,000 while the legendary Jamie Dwyer was sold for $57,000.

A total of 272 players -- 135 Indians and 137 foreigners - from 20 countries were up for the auction which will help sides retain players for two years.

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