Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to officially recognise hockey as the national game of India.
Hockey already enjoys the status of the unofficial national game of India and with Odisha all set to host the World Cup in November, Patnaik urged Modi to make the status official.
"As you know Sir, the next World Cup Hockey will be held 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 wrote in his letter.
"Hence I am sure you will agree with the crores loving fans of our country - that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be fitting tribute to the great Hockey players who have made our country proud," Patnaik said.
Dear PM @narendramodi ji, you will agree with 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 our great players & inspire youngsters #HockeyForNationalGame 1/4 https://t.co/oTGcrHxO9U pic.twitter.com/X7E7jrlWOo— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 20, 2018
In February, the Odisha government also announced a first-of-its-kind association when they replaced Sahara as the official sponsors of Indian hockey.
Hockey historically has been the sport that has given the most accolades to India with eight Olympic golds.