Pune, Aug 14: Gujarat Giants and Telugu Yoddhas kickstarted their campaigns with impressive victories as the inaugural edition of Ultimate Kho Kho began with a bang at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge in Pune, Maharashtra on Sunday.
While Gujarat defeated Mumbai Khiladis by 25 points, Yoddhas beat Chennai Quick Guns by a close 10 points margin as India’s homegrown sport witnessed a historic revamped debut from mud to mat in the packed stadium.
The traditional dhol was played as India’s first-ever franchise-based Kho-Kho league was inaugurated with a packed stadium in the presence of Tenzing Niyogi, CEO & League Commissioner, Ultimate Kho Kho, Sudhanshu Mittal, President, Kho Kho Federation of India and MS Tyagi, General Secretary, Kho Kho Federation of India, Prakash Javadekar, former Union Minister alongside owners and representatives of 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).
Earlier in the opening match of the league, Gujarat notched up 69 points while Mumbai managed to get 44 points in the match.
Gujarat captain Ranjan Shetty won the toss and chose to defend. Mumbai started with the powerplay, activating two wazirs--Durvesh Salunke and Avik Singha--when the batch consisting Vinayak Pokarde, Akshay Bhangare and Mareppa took the field. However, within less than two minutes, they successfully managed to out all three of them.
Coming in the first batch, Rohan Kore tested the Gujarat’s attack in the second turn as he defended from three minutes and two seconds. However, after that Gujarat quickly made a comeback to end the first innings at 26-24 lead.
Mumbai Khiladis recovered to regain the lead with 20 points in the first seven minutes of second innings that put them ahead at 44-30 score.
In the decisive final turn, Gujarat played brilliantly to pocketed massive 39 points to pocket the match comfortably. Telugu Yoddhas, on the other hand, also put up a brilliant show to score 48 points compared to Chennai Quick Guns’ 38.
Telugu Yoddhas started the match well and looked in commanding position with a 29-15 lead at the end of first innings. Chennai Quick Guns, however, tried their best to make a comeback in the second part of the game but ended up on the losing side despite scoring more points than the opposition.
Chennai Quick Guns scored 23 points in the second innings but Telugu Yoddhas did enough to tilt the match in their favour by adding 19 more points.
The league has been presenting this indigenous sport in a modern avatar coupled with tailor-made format and exciting innovations such as wazir and powerplay. Ultimate Kho Kho is promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India.
On the second day of league, Rajasthan Warriors and Odisha Juggernauts will kickstart their campaigns as they will take on Mumbai Khiladis and Chennai Quick Guns respectively.
Source: Media Release