New Delhi: The joint venture of Patel-Uniexcel Group has taken up the Ranchi franchise in the much-hyped Hockey India League (HIL), making it the third of the six teams which will compete in the event starting in January next year.

Sahara India and Jaypee Group are the franchisees for Lucknow and Punjab.

"We are pleased to welcome the Patel-Unixcel Group on board," said Hockey India Secretary-General and Hockey India League Chairman Dr Narinder Batra.

"We are sure that the Bangalore-based Patel Group and the Chinese Taipei-based Unixcel Group will provide a fantastic impetus to hockey in the region, which is a major nursery for the sport."

Speaking for the Joint Venture, Uniexcel Group Chairman Suresh Kumar Chauhan said the Patel-Uniexcel Group was delighted to be making an entry into the Indian sports firmament through hockey.

"There could have been no better way to get in to sport than with a sport that has emotional connect with all of India," he said.

"I am very delighted that we have got the Ranchi franchise as I come from Kolkata and always carry very strong feelings for eastern India."

Franchise CEO Banti Singh, who hails from Kolkata and is an ex-national hockey player, said the Group is looking forward to developing a competitive team and contributing to the evolution of the sport in the region.

The Uniexcel Group covers international trading across the globe in a diverse range of commodities and industrial raw materials.

It also has manufacturing facilities in India, China, Nigeria and Ghana. It is also setting up a state-of-the art fabric coating factory worth Rs 300 crore.

Speaking for the Patel Group, Patel and Partner Managing Director Vikram Jain said the Group was excited to be entering the world of sport.

"We want to contribute in our own way for the sport to catch the imagination of the Indians again," he said.

The Patel Group is among the leading transport companies in India and has been importing raw silk yarn and silk fabrics from China.

(Agencies)

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