Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) is all set for season 2 as the country’s best 145 players, including 33 young talents from the range of 16 to 18 years of age, were hand-picked by six franchises during the players draft conducted in Bhubaneshwar.

Adding more energy and speed into the squad, teams made interesting choices with a focus on giving opportunity to promising youngsters as Mumbai Khiladis ensured the services of the 16-year-old Sunil Patra from Odisha, while 17-year-olds M Mugilan of Puducherry and Maharashtra’s Ganesh Borkar was drafted by Chennai Quick Guns and Rajasthan Warriors respectively.

“Ultimate Kho Kho will be driving young Indian fans in season 2. From a total player pool of 272, franchises drafted 145 players. What makes it absolutely special is 33 players in season 2 will be young 16 to 18 year olds. With an average age of 22.5 years, season 2 is poised to be faster, stronger and bolder visual spectacle for fans across,” commented Tenzing Niyogi, Ultimate Kho Kho CEO and League Commissioner.

Defending champions Odisha Juggernauts ensured a perfect balance of youth and experience as they selected a strong squad.

While the retained players were offered ₹6 lakh each, franchises picked their remaining players from four categories—A (₹5 lakh), B (₹3 lakh), C (₹1.5 lakh) and D (₹1 lakh). Gujarat Giants and Rajasthan Warriors drafted 25 and 22 players respectively to complete their squads.

A total of 290 players were registered for the season 2 players draft from 18 states as franchises spent ₹3.9 crore to draft 145 players including 18 retained players. Vijay Hajare, Adhithya Ganpule and Laxman Gawas were among the star players who were handpicked first by Rajasthan Warriors (owned by Capri Global), Telugu Yoddhas and Chennai Quick Guns (owned by KLO Sports), respectively.

The squad: 

Odisha Juggernauts: Dilip Khandvi (Retained), Dipesh More (Retained), Gowtham MK (Retained), Vishal (Retained), Omkar Sonawane, Rohan Shingade, Akshay Masal, Mahesha P, Manoj Patil, Avinash Desai, Manoj Kumar, Visag S, Debendra Nath, Nikhil Kumar, Vishal Oram, Sanjay Kumar V, Deepak Kumar Sahoo, Nikhil B, MD Mirajul, Sushant Kaldhone, Sobhag V Sriganda, Niranjan Samal, Savir Ahmad, Suresh Kumar and Siddheswar Tudu.