Ultimate Kho Kho: 275 players in the fray for Season 2 Player Draft to be held on Tuesday

Bhubaneshwar (IANS) Stakes will be high as the six Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) franchisees build up their squads for Season 2 via the Player Draft, to be held in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The inaugural season ignited a sporting frenzy, thrusting it to claim the title of India’s third-largest non-cricketing league in audience outreach.

Armed with ?3.90 crore each in their purse, the six franchisees 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.

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 in four categories, A, B, C and D. Category A players are priced at ?5 lakh each, Category B will get ?3 lakh each and C and D are categorised at ?1.5 lakh and 1 lakh, respectively. Franchisees will have the option to select players based on their respective draft sequence and purse capacity.

In all, 293 players are in the pool and 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’. 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 other players. Mumbai Khiladis retained two players, Gajanan Shengal and Sreejesh S. from the previous season. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Warriors and Telugu Yoddhas have retained three players each.

The thrilling action from Season 2 will be broadcast live on Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI)’s sports channels as well as live streaming on Sony LIV.

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