The Hockey India League (HIL), the flagship event of Hockey India, is scheduled to be played across six venues in the country starting January 18.
     
The six franchises battling for supremacy in the richest field hockey league in the world are Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and title holders Ranchi Rays, co-owned by India limited overs cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
     
The opening match of the tournament will be played between Kalinga Lancers, who made the biggest buy of the season in German Moritz Fuerste and Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who were able to draft in young Indian forward Akashdeep Singh.
     
The tournament opener will be staged in Bhubaneshwar. Defending champions Ranchi Rays will open their campaign against last year's runners-up Jaypee Punjab Warriors in Chandigarh on January 19.

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