HOCKEY INDIA LEAGUE (HIL) franchise Delhi Waveriders on Monday retained three overseas players and three young Indian talents for the next two editions, releasing others, including talismanic captain Sardar Singh.
Waveriders, who won the 2014 HIL and finished third in 2015, retained their star Kiwi forward Simon Child ($50,000) along with his compatriot, defender Steven Edwards ($34,000) and Australian Tristan White ($40,000) for the 2016 and 2017 editions. Striker Yuvraj Walmiki ($40,000), Talwinder Singh ($25,000) and Surender Kumar ($22,000) have also been retained.
With more than 200 caps for New Zealand, seasoned attacker Child was the leader of the attacking line of Waveriders from the inaugural edition in 2013 and shouldered the responsibility perfectly. With the 27-year-old's guidance, young Indian forwards like Yuvraj and Talwinder also played well. Surender is a strong defender.
In the last three seasons, Waveriders played with a star-studded side, including Sardar, penalty corner specialist Rupinder Pal Singh, Australia's Jason Wilson and Matt Ghodes, New Zealand's Andrew Hayward and South African Lloyd Norris Jones. The players will have to be part of the auction if they want to play.
Waveriders finished runners-up in the first edition.
"I am happy that I will be playing with the same team and the best players. The atmosphere of Delhi Waveriders and the city is amazing. It motivates me to perform better. I am also glad to see Simon Child and Steven Edwards in the team as they inspire other players and lead the team from the front," defender White said in a statement.
"Yuvraj Walmiki, Surender Kumar and Talwinder are marvellous talents and it's enjoyable to play alongside them. I am expecting a great result this time and looking forward to another competitive season."