Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today formally launched Kalinga lancers, the latest franchise to join the tournament.
Patnaik also unveiled Kalinga Lancers' logo and jersey for the members of the Odisha team.
The Lancers would be the sixth team in the tournament which is scheduled to start from January 23 next year.
The state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) have joined hands and formed Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company to own the franchise.
An agreement was also signed between Odisha Sports Development, Promotion Company and HIL in the presence of the chief minister and HIL officers led by its general secretary Narendra Batra.
The company has, meanwhile, set up a special purpose vehicle with the objective of promotion of sports and welfare of sportspersons of the state with authorised share capital of Rs 50 lakh each.
Kalinga Stadium which boasts of synthetic hockey surface conforming to the international specification will be a venue for the league matches of the tournament.
Former India captain Dilip Tirkey is the chief mentor and advisor of the special purpose vehicle.
Terry Walsh has been named as the coach of the Kalinga Lancers.
With a rich history in hockey, Odisha has produced international players like Ignes Tirkey, Dillip Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, Michael Kindo and 15 other known players in recent years.