New Delhi: With Sahara Group back as sponsors of the national team, Hockey India, taking a cue from the BCCI, are all set to introduce "retainership fee" for the senior as well as the U-19 team.

The Sahara Group, which has decided to withdraw as the sponsor of the national cricket team, have come back having hiked the sponsorship fee to 170 percent, and a major portion of the money would go back to the players.

"We have decided that we would start with a retainership fee for the senior as well as the U-19 players. The players will be graded according to their performance as well as seniority much like what happens in cricket. Once the Olympic qualifiers are over, we would sit with senior players and draw a blueprint of how to effectively implement our plan," Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said on Thursday.

Although it won't be a huge amount like in cricket, Grade A players in the senior team are likely to get an amount in the region of Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh per season.

The HI will also assess the performance of the players and accordingly their gradation would be determined per season. During Sahara Group's earlier association, there used to a be match-fee for the players and Batra said that this sponsorship deal would help them re-introduce the same system.

"Obviously, there will be performance assessment at the end of one year. I have told our players that next season's gradation will depend on whether India can be among top-six hockey playing nations," he concluded.

(Agencies)