The recently conducted player auction for the upcoming season of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) set the stage for an exhilarating display of talent and competition. Held successfully in Bhubaneswar, the event saw six franchises strategizing to build formidable teams from a pool of 245 players across various categories.
Draft Selections and Player Categories
The six participating franchises, including Odisha Juggernauts, Chennai Quick Guns, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Khiladis, Rajasthan Warriors, and Telugu Yoddhas, showcased their intent as they drafted players across four categories – A, B, C, and D, each with varying price points, with a total purse of INR 3.90 crore.
A Category: 30 players at Rs 6 lakh each
B Category: 36 players at Rs 5 lakh each
C Category: 55 players at Rs 3 lakh each
D Category: 24 players at Rs 1.5 lakh each
Player Retentions and Notable Picks
Out of the 245 players in the pool, 18 were retained by the six franchises, categorizing them as Power Players. Notable retentions included defending champions Odisha Juggernauts retaining four players, while Chennai Quick Guns secured the talents of Player of the Tournament Ramji Kashyap and Young Player of the Tournament Madan.
President’s Vision and Growth Prospects
Sudhanshu Mittal, President of the Kho-kho Federation of India, expressed enthusiasm for the sport’s growing recognition. He highlighted the game’s evolution from rural settings to a globally recognized sport, providing opportunities for players in jobs, education, and awards.
Mittal outlined plans to introduce auctioning from the third season, aiming to add more value to the game. With the upcoming season scheduled between December 24th, 2023, and January 14th, 2024, in Cuttack, Mittal expressed a vision to further invigorate and modernize the ancient Indian game.
The Promise of Season 2
Following the success of the inaugural season, the anticipation for the second edition of Ultimate Kho Kho is sky-high. With a blend of experienced players and promising new talents, the league aims to captivate audiences and elevate the sport to greater heights, promising more action, excitement, and a showcase of raw talent.