New Delhi [India], August 13 (ANI): Kho Kho is widely regarded as one of the most ancient sports in India. The sport has undergone a sea change in the last five years.
Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) president Sudhanshu Mittal, while addressing the media here on Saturday, said that the indigenous game has now attained a presence the world over.
"With Ultimate Kho Kho starting tomorrow, the sport will touch new heights. A dream comes true. We will make sure that our own Indian sport gets love and recognition in the world. It will reach the masses with the league," Mittal said.
The first edition of the Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) is all set to begin on August 14 at the Balewadi Stadium, Pune. A total of six teams will compete in the tournament. The franchise-based league will be the first ever for the sport of Kho Kho and teams from Chennai, Mumbai, Gujarat, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh will take part in the competition.
A total of 34 matches will be played in the league stage, with two matches taking place each day. In the knockout stage, matches will be played in a playoff format which will comprise qualifiers and eliminators. The games will be played from 7:00 PM and will be live on Sony Networks.
Further talking about the future programmes, Mittal said that the Asia Cup will be played from October 12 between 12 Asian countries in Delhi.
"Preparations are going great guns for the Asia Cup, and then there will be the World Cup between 20 counties (for which dates and venue are yet to be finalised.
"As a part of a bilateral promotion, Kho Kho Test Matches have also been played between India-England and India-Nepal. To train the players at the international level, coaches are being deputed to several countries including Iran, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and South Korea. We have also conducted Level-1 International Coaching Camp in India at JLN Stadium which was attended by 66 Players from 16 Countries.
"National coaching camp was also conducted at Manav Rachna University, Faridabad to enhance the physical and mental capability of the players. Due to concerted efforts of KKFI, Kho Kho is being played in 36 countries across four continents," he said.
The KKFI president also thanked the government for its support.
"The Government of India has been very kind and considerate to include the Kho Kho in the priority list of sports for Jobs under sports quota. It has also been included in the All India Police Sports Control Board (AIPSCB) sports curriculum. This will provide the opportunity to the poor and deprived young Kho Kho players of our Villages to be recruited into the CAPFs and police organisations in India. We have also organised the National Kho Kho League for women in June 2022 at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar and three more similar leagues are planned for women in sub-junior, Junior and Senior categories with financial Grants from MYAS/SAI," he added. (ANI)