Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to officially recognise hockey as the national sport of India.
As Odisha is all set to host the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar in November this year, Patnaik said that he was shocked to learn that hockey - which is considered as our national game -- has never been officially notified.
"As you know Sir, the next World Cup Hockey will be held in Odisha in November this year. While reviewing the preparations, I was surprised and shocked to know that what is popularly known as the National Game - Hockey, has in fact never been notified as our National Game," Patnaik pointed out in his letter to Prime Minister Modi.
Patnaik then urged the Prime Minister to recognise hockey as the national game which will eventually serve as a tribute to the great hockey players who have made the nation proud.
"Hence I am sure you will agree with the crores of hockey loving fans of our country - that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be a fitting tribute to the great hockey players who have made our country proud. It will also inspire our future generations," Patnaik said.
It should be noted that hockey has been the sport which has handed the most number of medals to the country, including eight gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympics.
On a related note, the much-anticipated Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup is slated to be held from November 28 to December 16 at the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium.