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Turner hits jackpot with Magicians

Canberra Lakers striker Glenn Turner was among 15 Australian hockey players given a welcome pay-day on Sunday when he was bought at auction for the new Hockey India League, which is due to start on January 17.

Turner was picked up by the Mumbai Magicians for his reserve price of $US25,000 ($23,700), a handy result for a month-long tournament for the Goulburn Council worker who regularly takes leave without pay from his job at the waste-water treatment plant to train and play with the national team.

He will join three fellow Kookaburras - Joel Carroll, Matthew Swann and Matthew Butturini - at the Mumbai franchise for the competition labelled as hockey's answer to cricket's Indian Premier League.

Turner was among the lower paid Australians, despite being auctioned with the highest possible reserve price. But having undergone hip surgery in October being picked up was testament to the skills of the Kookaburras striker, with numerous players going unsold.

Australia's highest paid player will be Jamie Dwyer, the five-time world player of the year bought for $US78,200 by Jaypee Punjab Warriors, which also picked up top Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann and five other Australians.

German midfielder and reigning player of the year Moritz Fuerste was the most highly-sought after with a final selling price of $US83,950, with Sardar Singh the highest-paid Indian player at $US78,000.

It is hoped the league, which is sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation unlike earlier incarnations, will allow Australia's top hockey players to start earning a living from their sport.

Each of the five teams had a purse of $US650,000 to buy 24 players, with a maximum of 10 internationals.