New Delhi: After five successful editions, there will be no Hockey India League (HIL) next year and the cash-rich domestic tournament will only return in 2019 with a fresh outlook, Hockey India said on Tuesday.

The tournament’s governing committee, comprising representatives of Hockey India and other stakeholders, have unanimously decided to schedule the next edition of Hockey India League in 2019 instead of January and February 2018.

“After five years of successfully organizing the Hockey India League, we felt that it is time to review the league, evaluate its success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport," said Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, chairman Hockey India League and secretary general, Hockey India. “This decision was made after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved," he added.

There were reports that unhappy franchises and financial concerns may see the end of the Hockey India League after just five seasons. However, Ahmad clarified that this will only be a temporary discontinuation and that HIL will return in 2019. “Due to a conflict in dates of the schedule of Hockey India League 2018 and a major international tournament which was likely to restrict the participation of international players, it was decided that the best solution was to postpone the conduct of the sixth season of the League," Ahmad said.

“I want to emphasize that we want to resume the league in 2019 albeit with greater prospects to make it more viable financially not only for the stakeholders but also for the players," he added.

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