Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], November 21 (ANI): The player draft for the second season of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) was successfully held in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
Odisha Juggernauts, Chennai Quick Guns, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Khiladis, Rajasthan Warriors, and Telugu Yoddhas are the six teams that will be participating in the tournament. With a total allotted purse of Rs 3.90 crore, teams are allowed to have combinations with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 35 players. Eighteen players have been retained by the six teams, according to the Kho Kho Federation of India.
Players are put into categories A, B, C and D on the basis of the money that they will get.
Franchisees were given the option to choose players based on their respective draft sequence and purse capacity.
The 18 players retained by the franchisees are part of the 'Power Players' category.
Players who were part of Season 1 but had not been retained are known as 'Pole Players'. The League offered a platform to new talent by putting them in the 'Dream Players' category. The new set of players is recommended either by the franchises or the Kho Kho Federation of India.
Defending champion Odisha Juggernauts retained four players from the last season, while Chennai Quick Guns retained three players, including Player of the Tournament Ramji Kashyap and Young Player of the Tournament Madan.
The Gujarat Giants held on to the Defender of the Tournament, Abhinandan Patil, among two others. Mumbai Khiladis retained two players, Gajanan Shengal and Sreejesh S, from the previous season.
The other two teams, the Rajasthan Warriors and Telugu Yoddhas, retained three players each.
"Ultimate Kho Kho has provided international recognition to the sport which earlier belonged to rural areas or communities. Today, it has gained popularity and because of this sports players are getting jobs, awards and admission to colleges. This game will soon be getting international recognition," Kho-kho Federation of India president Sudhanshu Mittal said.
"Today at the draft event, I felt like a dream for Kho Kho coming true. This year we did not increase the money in the draft but from the third season, we will be doing the auctioning. This will add value to the game."He said season two of Ultimate Kho-Kho aims to infuse new life into the ancient Indian game.
After the success of season one, the league is all set to return with its second edition scheduled between December 24 and January 14, 2024, in Cuttack. (ANI)