Delhi, Punjab to kick off HIL

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Delhi Waveriders will play the opening match against Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here Jan 14.

The HIL Thursday announced their inaugural season 2013 match schedule, which will start from Jan 14 and end Feb 10.

The league will feature 34 matches in 28 days and will be played in five franchisee cities - Delhi, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Mumbai and Ranchi.

The opening ceremony will be held Jan 14 here just before the first match.

"We are very pleased to announce the confirmed match schedule for the first ever Hockey India League, which will feature many of the big hockey stars from around the world. It will be a real treat to hockey fans as they will see the toughest battles among the five teams," said Narinder Batra, secretary general of Hockey India and chairman-Hockey India League.

"We are pretty sure that HIL will become an unforgettable moment for all players, sponsors and spectators."

Jalandhar will host the second match at Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium where the home team Jaypee Punjab Warriors will face Ranchi Rhinos Jan 16. Mumbai Magicians will play their first match here against Delhi Waveriders the same day.

The semi-final matches will be played Feb 9 with the final being played the next day. The venue for the semi-finals and final is yet to be decided.

Matches at Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Ranchi will be played under floodlights while matches in Lucknow will be played during daytime.

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