Ranchi Rays buy Gurbaj for $99,000 in HIL 2017 closed bid

Ranchi Rays buy Gurbaj for $99,000 in HIL 2017 closed bid

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Gurbaj Singh turned out the most expensive buy in the closed bid for Hockey India League 2017, picked up for a whopping $99,000 by Ranchi Rays. German forward Christopher Ruhr was the costliest among foreign players, going for $75,000, also to Ranchi Rays.

Mid-fielder Gurbaj was suspended by Hockey India for nine months in August 2015 on charges of indulging in groupism and creating disharmony within the team during the Hockey World League semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium.

Tom Craig ( Kalinga Lancers), Robert van der Horst (Jaypee Punjab Warriors) and Seve van Ass (Uttar Pradesh Wizards) were among the other notable overseas buys during the auction in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Eighteen-year-old defender Hardik Singh was picked up by Jaypee Punjab Warriors for $39,000,  while India's U-17 Asia Cup-winning captain Nilam Sanjeep Xess went to Kalinga Lancers. Shamsher Singh and Ajay Yadav were bought by Uttar Pradesh Wizards. 

Goalkeeper Sushant Tirkey, Netherlands internationals Jaap Stockmann and Mink van der Weerden and Lucas Rossi of Argentina remained unsold.

"I would first like to emphasise the importance of the HIL in contributing to Indian hockey's rise in the rankings,” HIL chairman Narinder Batra told reporters.

"The professionalism of the league is commendable and all credit for this must go to the franchises themselves, who have conducted their work in a manner that is source of inspiration for world hockey,” added Batra, who was recently elected as FIH president.

“In regard to the closed bid, I'm happy to see that keeping with the trend, even this year, the process has been more rewarding to the players, and the teams have consistently looked to bid way higher than their base prices.

"It goes to show how valuable and talented each of the players are, and subsequently how tightly contested and closely-knit the league is now.”

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