Virat, Rohit, hockey!

Some spectators do not mind putting on a Virat or a Rohit jersey and watching a hockey match of the Indian side!

Team captains join Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for a picture at the Mukteshwar Temple, Bhubaneswar, ahead of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018. Bhubaneswar has a lot of temples which are a delight for tourists.   -  PTI

Cricket is all pervasive in our country. The perfect example of this is seen at the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar! Before the hockey matches featuring India, the roads leading to the Kalinga Stadium, the venue of the World Cup, surprise one as vendors sell jerseys, caps, hats, wrist bands and such which are cricket-centric.

Though hockey jerseys are on sale also, one cannot miss the cricket jerseys, displaying the names of Virat and Rohit and flashing their numbers 18 and 10 respectively. They record good sales, too, as some spectators do not mind putting on a Virat or a Rohit jersey and watching a hockey match of the Indian side!

United colours of Australia

During one of their training sessions at the Kalinga Stadium, the Australian hockey players were seen wearing jerseys of different colours instead of their regular ones.

The pitch was dotted with black, white, blue, red, yellow, grey, green and maroon colours in varied styles, including loose-fitting, slim-fitting, round-necked and polo.

On enquiry it was learnt that the players were wearing the colours of their younger days when they played for their respective clubs. It was a session that taught the players to value their upbringing even while moving towards the future. What a laudable way to motivate! Hats off to Australia, the top-ranked team in the world.

The Australian team has a unique routine while training.   -  Getty Images


A charming city

Bhubaneswar, a city which beautifully juxtaposes tradition and modernity, offers a lot of options for sight-seeing. The Khandagiri and Udayagiri Jain caves sculpted around the second century B.C., the Shanti Stupa atop Dhauligiri on the banks of the Daya river, which witnessed the Kalinga war, one of the bloodiest battles that transformed Emperor Ashoka’s mindset and 100s of temples built between the seventh and 11th century A.D., co-exist with the neatly designed modern city having four museums, a huge zoological park and outlets for Odisha’s wide traditional array of handicraft and handloom products.

Most of the players use the days between matches to explore the city and its adjoining areas, such as Puri and Konark, and indulge in shopping for mementos. The temptation to try various mouthwatering Odia cuisines is another pleasant aspect of the whole experience.

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