Best Kho Kho Players in India: Kho Kho is a game that is commonly taught and played in Indian schools and colleges. The game requires plenty of energy, and stamina and is the right way to inculcate these as well as team spirit qualities in young children. But also note that Kho Kho is played professionally, and in fact is one of the oldest outdoor games played in India.
Every kho-kho team has 12 players out of which 9 are allowed to be on the field during a match. Each match has two innings. Seven minutes are given to each team to chase, and another seven minutes to each team to defend, during the match.
Top 5 Best Kho Kho Players of India
#5 Praveen Kumar
Hailing from Mysore, Karnataka, Praveen Kumar is one of the best players in India. He was the most important player for his team, University of Mysore, and played an important part in their victories against Mysore’s South Zone and at the All-India Inter-University Championships. While he was in middle school, Praveen gained interest in Kho Kho and started to play it regularly. Later he took the step of pursuing it professionally by participating in the Sarada Vilas HS’s Football Team.
At that time, senior players such as PC Yogesh convinced him to take up the sport seriously, seeing his skills. Praveen also represented Karnataka in the Senior National Kho-Kho Championships.
#4 Mandakini Majhi
Mandakini Majhi is popularly known as the Odisha Girl and is one of the most well-known sportspersons from the state. She was selected to take part in the 12th SAF games held in 2016 as a member of the national team’s Kho Kho squad. She came from a humble household, and it was difficult for her to pursue Kho Kho professionally.
But she did not give up, continued working hard through the adversity, and made herself get noticed in the Kho Kho circles. She also represented her state in the National Games tournament held in 2015. Her biggest achievement is winning the gold medal for her national team in 2016.
#3 Pankaj Malhotra
Pankaj Malhotra is one of the most well-known and best Kho Kho players in the country and has numerous accomplishments to his name. He was born in Jammu and he became interested in the sport early on. Through his continued efforts, he rose to the top to become one of the most recognized faces in the sport. He received training from well-known athletes Dheeraj Sharma and Ajay Gupta. Many influential people in the sport, and all over the country have acknowledged and appreciated his efforts.
#2 Sarika Kale
Hailing from Maharashtra, Sarika Kale is one of the best kho kho players in the country. In 2010, she became the captain of her state’s kho-kho team and she made Maharashtra get three national titles. Before the 2016 SAF games, she was chosen to be in the Indian Women’s Kho Kho squad, and eventually made captain. She led the squad to a lot of victories in the Asian Games and she was also deemed as a match-winner in many of those victories.
#1 Satish Rai
Satish Rai is one of the most recognized kho-kho players in the world. He is known for his exceptional gameplay and insane energy levels. But there’s not much content about him online. His journey has been inspiring and even now, he is a focussed, tough, and fit player. In 2010, the Kho Kho Federation of India decided to conduct a Kho Kho World Series similar to the one with baseball that is held in the United States.
Satish Rai was and has always been a vocal supporter of that, and of the sport in general. He spoke to the media several times about the advantages of having such a world series and about kho kho players getting more recognition from the board.
Kho Kho Game History
While the origins of the game are still not known, many believe it to be similar to tag and catch. Kho Kho as a game was designed in Maharashtra where it was known as Rathera in ancient times as the game was played on raths and chariots. The current form of the game is dated back to 1914 during the first World War when active efforts were taken to lay down the rules of the game.
But even during that time, the playground dimensions and the concept of time in the game were absent. Going further, many countries and associations created the rules that are being followed today. The credit for this has to go to the Deccan Gymkhana Club in Pune who laid down the first-ever rules and regulations for the game. This started to incite interests in other states as well.
The first National Championship in India was held in 1959 and the Kho Kho Federation of India was founded in 1955. At the SAF Games, the Asian Kho-Kho Federation was founded in which India is a member along with some other Asian countries.
How to Play Kho Kho Game?
The runners enter the playing field in groups of three. The eight members of the chasing team, sit in the middle lane, facing in opposite directions to their neighboring players. The chaser is the ninth member who starts their chasing from either of the posts. When the chaser touches the palm of the runner, the runner gets knocked out.
The defenders try to complete the seven-minute game without having been knocked out by the chaser. The active chaser can pass the responsibility of chasing to anyone sitting in the center lane, by tapping on their back and yelling ‘kho’.
Conclusion – Best Kho Kho Players
Kho Kho game has produced plenty of legendary sportspersons, some of whom are still active and playing, while others have retired. It is important to read more about them to know more about their stories and the sport, in general. Only that can incite interest and increase the viewership of this wonderful game even more.
The game requires plenty of physical strength and endurance, and it is a great way to stay fit in a fun way. So the earlier one starts playing Kho – Kho, the better it is even for their fitness and overall body development.