Kho Kho is a ancient tag sport invented in India. The game is played by teams of 12 nominated players out of 15. Of these 9 enter the field and sit on their knees (chasing team), while the 3 extra players (defending team) try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team. After Kabaddi, Kho Kho is the most popular traditional tag games in the Indian subcontinent. Not only in India, but the game is also played by the Indian community in South Africa.
— Kho Kho Federation of India (@KKFIOfficial) April 14, 2019
Note that the word ‘Kho’ seems to be derived from the Sanskrit verb root syu- meaning “get up go”. With Kho Kho coming from the streets into the national limelight, there are many talented players who are the reason behind its growth.
Here is a list of five famous, talented and reputed national Kho-Kho players who earned success and love through this game.
Satish Rai is one of the most famous personalities in kho-kho. Very little is known about him except his excellent gaming skills. He was a tough, fit dedicated and attentive player.
In 2010, the newly formed Kho-Kho Federation of India had decided to conduct a Kho-Kho World Series on similar lines of the Baseball World Series in America. A bunch of Kho-Kho enthusiasts decided to support the federation and draw attention to the age-old sport. Satish Rai was an active enthusiast in promoting and supporting the series speaking to media about the benefits of the plan.
Moreover, Satish Rai is most important and stupendous Kho Kho player of India. He is a predominant player. He played for many years and won many medals
Also Read | India’s First 8 Team Kho-Kho League is Here
Sarika Kale, captain of India’s women’s kho-kho team recently led the national team to clinch a gold at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) in Guwahati.
At the age of 10, Sarika began playing kho-kho and developed an interest in the game. With time, she mastered the skills of the game and represented her state Maharashtra in 25 national championships.
In 2016, the renowned kho-kho player was struggling to find a job. The Railways had a men’s kho-kho team but were yet to recruit a female kho-kho player. On this Devarajan, an Olympian and Arjuna awardee, who won the bronze medal at the 1994 Boxing World Cup in Bangkok said “The Indian Kho-Kho Federation (IKKF) has requested them to recruit Sarika and a few other players, but it’s a matter of policy and we need approval from the Railway Board which we are awaiting.”
Sarika has always been confident that her sport, just like kabaddi, will grow leaps and bounds if the corporate sector steps in.
Pankaj Malhotra, the very famous current Indian Kho-Kho team captain is a dominant player with a list of achievements on his plate.
Born in Jammu Kashmir’s Sainik Colony, Jammu, he developed an interest in this sport at a very young age and continued his passion.
He was the captain of Jammu Kashmir State Kho Kho Team and represented India in the India- Nepal Kho-Kho 5-Match Test Series, being held in India from May 22, 2018.
He trained under well-reputed coaches Ajay Gupta and Dheeraj Sharma in all departments of the game at Green Field Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.
The President J&K Kho-Kho Association, S. Manmeet Singh, Secretary S. Harjeet Singh, and Treasurer BS Tirthi praised the efforts of the ace player for his achievement.
They also appreciated the coaches for their commendable training and conditioning given to Pankaj.
Mandakini Majhi, also known as Odisha girl is the first Kho Kho player from Odisha, who has been selected in Indian Women’s Kho Kho team to participate in the 12th South Asian Federation (SAF) Games 2016 in Guwahati
Coming from poor family background, choosing kho-kho as a sport was challenging for Majhi but she continued to surpass the obstacles and build stepped up the ladder to success.
Her achievement list is huge including 2nd place in 19th East Zone National Kho-Kho Championship 2014 held at Bihar, participation in 59th National School Games 2013-14 held at Delhi, representing the State in 46th Senior National Kho-Kho Championship 2012-13 held at Baramati, Maharashtra and securing 3rd position in Junior National Kho Kho Championship 2014 held at Rajasthan.
Also, she is the first Odia women placed in an Indian kho-kho team for “12th SAF Game-2016” and bagged a gold medal.
Praveen Kumar is one of the very talented and famous Kho Kho players from Mysore, Karnataka. He played a big role in University of Mysore’s (UoM) win in both South Zone and All India Inter-University Men’s Kho-Kho Championships (2017-18) played in the city
Praveen started playing Kho-Kho in the middle school named Biagini Seva Samaj and later continued his passion for the sport by playing the game in High School at Sarada Vilas HS. Senior players including Yogesh of Pioneers SC encouraged him to take up the game seriously.
Praveen completed his study as an M.Com student at Manasagangothri, Mysuru. Meanwhile, he represented Karnataka in the Senior National Kho-Kho Championships two times and was part of the Karnataka Senior team which won the silver medal in 2013-14 and third place in the Senior Nationals held at Telangana in 2015.
In 2016-17, Praveen was part of the team who stood third in the All India Inter-University level.