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The Inaugural Season of Ultimate Kho Kho Kicks Off in Front of a Full House

Gujarat Giants and Telugu Yoddhas were the winners on the opening day of the league.

The inaugural of Ultimate Kho Kho commenced with a bang in front of a packed stadium at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Pune, Maharashtra on Sunday. A massive number of fans turned up to witness the historic moment as the indigenous sport made a debut with a revamped look, transforming from mud to mat in India’s first-ever franchise-based Kho-Kho league.

On Day 1, the landmark occasion was celebrated by playing the traditional dhol. The much-awaited Ultimate Kho Kho was inaugurated in the presence of Tenzing Niyogi, CEO & League Commissioner, Ultimate Kho Kho, Sudhanshu Mittal, President, Kho Kho Federation of India, MS Tyagi, General Secretary, Kho Kho Federation of India and Prakash Javadekar, former Union Minister alongside owners and representatives of the six franchises - Sanjay Jupudi and Srinath Chittoori (Chennai Quick Guns), Satyam Trivedi (Gujarat Giants), Janhavi Dhariwal Balan, Punit Balan and Badshah (Mumbai Khiladis), Lilan Sahu (Odisha Juggernauts), Jigar Shah (Rajasthan Warriors) and GM Ruchir (Telugu Yoddhas).

Day 2 marked India’s 75th Independence Day, which made the occasion all the more momentous. The Indian Army’s renowned brass band of the Bombay Engineering Group played the National Anthem to kick off proceedings for the day. The Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari tossed the coin in the second match and witnessed the modern avatar of India’s homegrown sport. Shri Sudhanshu Mittal, President, Kho Kho Federation of India, Mr Om Prakash Bakoria, Sports Commissioner, Maharashtra, Mr. Chandrakant Kamble, Joint Director Sports, Maharashtra, Anil Chormale, deputy sports director, Maharashtra and Suhas Patil, deputy director sports, were the other dignitaries present at the venue.

On the mat, two brilliant matchups were held where the remaining two debutants, Rajasthan Warriors and Odisha Juggernauts both took to the mat in consecutive matches. While Rajasthan’s UKK journey started on an unsuccessful note as they lost narrowly to Mumbai Khiladis, Odisha ensured a solid beginning as Chennai Quick Guns went down fighting.

“Ultimate Kho Kho is a glorious dream of our soil, a dedicated dream to take this indigenous sport to a global platform. As we celebrate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, it gives me immense pride and satisfaction to share that we are dedicating Ultimate Kho Kho to the 75th year of Independence because Kho-Kho is India’s pride. Ultimate Kho Kho is not just a sports league, it’s a revolution, a sports movement that is just beginning to unravel in front of your eyes,” said Tenzing Niyogi, CEO & League Commissioner, Ultimate Kho Kho.

“Kho-Kho is an integral part of India’s culture. Today this sport is being played in 36 countries not only in Asia but also in Europe and Africa. Today the image of this rural sport is changing with Ultimate Kho Kho. There has been a lot of hard work and I would like to thank Tenzing Niyogi and Tyagi Ji, both of them have taken this sport to new heights. I am also thankful to the Indian Government for their support,” said Sudhanshu Mittal, president, Kho Kho Federation of India.

Ultimate Kho Kho is promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India. The league has been presenting the homegrown sport in a modern avatar coupled with a tailor-made format and exciting innovations such as Wazir and Powerplay.

Six franchises, namely Chennai Quick Guns, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Khiladis, Odisha Juggernauts, Rajasthan Warriors and Telugu Yoddhas, will battle it out for the Season 1 title over 22 days. The finale is scheduled to be on September 4.

In Season 1, all the teams will play twice against each other during the league stage with the Top 4 teams progressing into the knockout stage, which will be played in a playoff format. There will be two matches every day with live coverage starting at 7:00 PM IST.

Season 1 is telecasted in five different languages on Sony Sports Network - SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi & Marathi) SONY TEN 4 (Telugu & Tamil). You can also watch the live action on TV on SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi & Marathi), and SONY TEN 4 (Telugu & Tamil) and SonyLIV. Match tickets are available on BookMyShow.

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