Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], November 20 (ANI): The stakes are soaring high as the six Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) franchises gear up for the Season 2 Player Draft in Bhubaneswar on November 21.
Armed with Rs 3.90 crore in the purse, the six franchises will battle it out to secure a formidable lineup from the 275 players available in the pool. The draft promises a fierce battleground, with Maharashtra dominating the forefront with 18 players, that emerged triumphant in the recently concluded National Games held in Goa, as per a press release from UKK.
With a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 35 players, each franchise will have 35 draft rounds to complete their team combinations for the second edition. While 18 players have been retained by the teams; the remaining players have been put under four categories, A, B, C and D. Category A players are priced at Rs five lakhs, Category B will get Rs three lakhs each and C and D are categorised at Rs 1.5 lakhs and one lakhs respectively. Franchises will have the option to select players based on their respective draft sequence and purse capacity.
In all, 293 players are in the pool have been divided into three segments. The 18 players retained by the franchisees fall in the 'Power Players' category. Players who were part of Season 1 but have not been retained are known as 'Pole Players'. While the new set of players recommended either by the franchisees or the Kho Kho Federation of India will be called 'Dream Players'.
Defending champions Odisha Juggernauts have retained four players from the last season, while Chennai Quick Guns three, including Player of the Tournament Ramji Kashyap and Young Player of the Tournament Madan. Gujarat Giants showed faith in Defender of the Tournament Abhinandan Patil besides two others. Mumbai Khiladis retained two of the players Gajanan Shengal and Sreejesh S from the previous season. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Warriors and Telugu Yoddhas have retained three players each.
The inaugural season, featuring six teams, took place from August 14 to September 4 last year with Odisha Juggernauts winning the title after beating Telugu Yoddhas by the score of 46-45 in the final. (ANI)