The government of Odisha has announced ownership of the fifth team in the upcoming Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK).
It would be the Odisha Government’s second direct sports investment, having previously owned a team in the Hockey India League, the Kalinga Lancers in 2013. The declaration comes just days after Odisha earned silver medals in both the boys and girls Kho Kho categories in the Khelo India Youth Games 2022.
The state has hosted some of the country’s major sporting events over the previous decade and has also created world-class multi-sport infrastructure.
Ultimate Kho Kho is a cooperation between Dabur India Ltd Chairman Amit Burman and the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI). The tournament aims to promote the homegrown sport in India and provide opportunities to talented players from all over the world.
The tournament previously had announced four franchises. ADANI Group and GMR Group hold the Gujarat and Telangana franchises, respectively, while Capri Global and KLO Sports own the Rajasthan and Chennai teams.
Ultimate Kho Kho has signed an exclusive multi-year arrangement with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) as its broadcast partner. The action from the league will be aired in English and other regional languages via Sony’s sports channels as well as on the OTT platform, SonyLIV.
Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Minister for Sports and Youth Services said, “Kho Kho is very popular in many parts of Odisha. In the recent Khelo India Youth Games, our boys and girls played well and won the silver medals. Since it’s a traditional game, we have huge scope to develop it further in the state. Therefore, we have decided to participate in the Kho Kho league. This is part of our Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik’s vision for sports in Odisha.”