The now defunct Premier Hockey League (PHL)
was a professional league competition for field Hockey
clubs in the top division of the Indian hockey system. There were seven teams in the PHL. The competition was held every year from 2005 till 2008.
The tournament was initiated to revive interest in the sport which was losing spectator interest to cricket
in recent times. Hockey is India's National Sport, with the country having won a record eight Olympic
Gold medals and having lifted the World Cup
One of the main reasons for the waning popularity of the existing domestic competition was the rise of corporate teams such as Indian Airlines and Punjab & Sind Bank which do not have a steady fan following. PHL is trying to change that by bringing in regional flavor. It fields teams from traditional hockey bastions such as Mumbai
, and Tamil Nadu
, as well as from other places like Hyderabad
, where it has got some fan following.
The competition was first played in 2005 involving 5 teams. Initiated by Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) with active support from sports channel ESPN
India. First season had two tiers division 1 and division 2 but from 2007 season onwards division 2 was scrapped. Except team winning 2006 division 2 championship rest all teams in division 2 were scrapped.
The 5 inaugural members of the new Premier Hockey League in 2005 were Bangalore Hi-Fliers
, Chennai Veerans
, Hyderabad Sultans
, Maratha Warriors