Rourkela: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced a Rs 10 lakh reward each for Amit Rohidas and Nilam Sanjeep Xess – both players are from Odisha – and are a part of the India squad for FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023.
Both Rohidas and Xess made it to the Indian team that will begin its campaign against Spain on Friday. Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Rohidas is also deputy to Indian team captain Harmanpreet Singh. He has 125 international caps to his name, but the defender is always used as an alternative during penalty corners and has scored 18 international goals.
From being an in-and-out player to becoming the vice-captain of the Indian hockey team, Amit Rohidas has quietly risen up the ranks with some outstanding performances in recent years. Amit Rohidas made his senior India debut in 2013 but it took him a while to become the team’s mainstay in defence.
Guarding the goal in defence with Rohidas is local lad Sanjeep Xess. With 30 international caps and five goals Sanjeep Xess, who hails from Kadobahal village, a few kilometres away from the World Cup venue, will look to enthuse the home crowd with his presence at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.
It will be a proud moment for Sundargarh, ‘the Cradle of Hockey’, when the two players will go to the middle of the pitch donning Indian jerseys. The crowd at Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela is surely going to get behind Rohidas and Sanjeep Xess every time they receive the ball.
Proud to welcome FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup to #Odisha once again which adds yet another glorious chapter to the state’s sporting history. Impressed by the unprecedented enthusiasm among people during #HWC2023 Celebrations at Barabati Stadium, #Cuttack as #HockeyComesHome. pic.twitter.com/a95UHbCdnh
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) January 11, 2023
Earlier, CM Patnaik met the Indian Hockey Team and committed to award Rs 1 crore for each member of the Indian Hockey Team if they win the Hockey World Cup 2023.
The marquee hockey event will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to January 29.
India will seek a podium finish and the expectations are far greater this time, particularly after the team’s stupendous performance at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 where they ended a 41-year-long wait to stand on the podium again by bagging the bronze medal.