By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, August 1, 2022: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday unveiled the jersey of Odisha Juggernauts, the state’s franchise in the first edition of the Ultimate Kho Kho League here. This league will kick start on 14th August and continue till 4th September 2022.

Naveen interacted with the coach and team players and wished them good luck for their League ahead.

“I congratulate and welcome each and every member to our Team Odisha Juggernauts. You all are now a part of our family and I wish you the very best for the League ahead. We, your Odia fans and supporters, will cheer for you from Odisha and hope to see you return with the coveted first edition trophy,” he said.

The Naveen Patnaik government has been focusing on development and promotion of indigenous sports like Kho Kho. Incidentally, the State teams have performed commendably well at the National level. This venture will give added impetus to the sport in the state and draw more players especially from the rural belts, he added.

The new jersey will make its in-game debut at the first match of this inaugural season that will be played by Odisha Juggernauts on 15 August in Pune, Maharashtra. The League that will commence from 14 August will continue till September 4.

The Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company (OSDPC)-owned team Odisha Juggernauts will be the fifth franchise in the league and will be led by Head Coach Ashwani Kumar Sharma.

Odisha Juggernauts comprises 25 players with 6 players from Odisha in the state franchise and 10 in the League. OSDPC in collaboration with leading steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited (AM/NS India) will work closely in Ultimate Kho Kho.

Head Coach, Ashwani Kumar Sharma said, “I am grateful that the Odisha franchise chose me as the Head Coach for the first-season of the Ultimate Kho-Kho League. We have a very balanced side and our pre-season camp in Bhubaneswar also went really well. Odisha has been doing really well in kho-kho and they have also medals in recent junior nationals and Khelo India Youth Games.”

Captain of the franchise, Dipesh Vijay More said, “The trust that the coaches have bestowed on me by declaring me as the captain of Odisha Juggernauts is a big achievement. This is a new team but already feels deeply connected. My prime goal would be to give our very best and keep the team together and motivated at all times.”

Secretary to chief minister, 5T, VK Pandian, Sports Secretary, Vineel Krishna, and officials of Sports & Youth Services Department were present on the occasion.

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