Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced Rs 10 lakh reward each for Indian hockey team players hailing from Odisha and participating in the ongoing FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. They are Amit Rohidas and Nilam Sanjeep Xess.

Both Rohidas and Xess made it to the Indian team that will begin its campaign against Spain in Rourkela today.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Rohidas is also deputy skipper to Indian team captain Harmanpreet Singh. He has 127 caps to his name, but the defender is always used as an alternative during penalty corners and scored 18 international goals.

Guarding the goal in defence with Rohidas is local lad Sanjeep Xess. With 30 international caps and five goals, Sanjeep Xess, who hails from Kadobahal village, a few kilometres from World Cup venue, will look to enthuse the home crowd with his presence at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.

It will be a proud moment for Sundargarh, ‘the Cradle of Hockey’, when the two players get down to the middle of the pitch wearing India colours. The crowd at Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela is surely going to get behind Rohidas and Sanjeep Xess every time they receive the ball.