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Wilson, Child picked up for Indian Hockey League

Published: 9:54AM Monday December 17, 2012 Source: Fairfax

The men's Black Sticks have been on a downward curve in 2012 and that is reflected in the inaugural Hockey India League player auction, with only two New Zealanders picked up.

Striker Nick Wilson was signed by the Ranchi Rhinos for $24,000, while fellow goal-scorer Simon Child will play for the Delhi Wave Riders after they paid $20,000 for his services.

Seven other Black Sticks - Dean Couzins, Phil Burrows, Hamish McGregor, Shea McAleese, Steve Edwards, Hugo Inglis and Andy Hayward - had put their names forward but were not signed.

At face value is is not huge money for Child and Wilson, especially when compared to the riches on offer in cricket's equivalent, the IPL.

But it should be noted the tournament only runs for about three weeks - from January 16 to February 10 - and hockey is not a lucrative sport in New Zealand so any financial reward will not be scoffed at.

India captain Sardar Singh became the highest-paid marquee player at the first auctions as the Delhi franchise bought him for $78,000.

The auction and tournament were both put back, twice, and complicating matters for the two New Zealanders is that Hockey New Zealand have scheduled a national training camp from February 5-12.

New Black Sticks coach Colin Batch has previously said attendance is compulsory and that any players signed for the new Indian league would have to return home early for the camp.