Odisha Cup, UAE: World’s largest Prabasi (Non- Resident) Odia Cricket Tournament inaugurated!

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Cup, the world’s largest Prabasi (Non-Resident) Odia cricket tournament has been inaugurated in the United Arab Emirates. This tournament will run from Nov’21 to Jan’22. Odisha Cup started in the year 2013 & this is the eighth edition of the tournament. This year a record number of 11 teams are participating in this mega cricket carnival. All the team members are Odias who are residing in the different Emirates of UAE. Last year the tournament did not happen because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
This year’s edition is the biggest one so far and was inaugurated on the 12th of November by organizing a ‘Seniors Cup’ match between Odia Gladiators, Dubai & OSA Seniors, Abu Dhabi Teams at the Australian International School cricket ground in Sharjah in presence of a huge audience, the advisors & other senior members of the organizing committee such as Mr. Rajat Rath and Mr. Susant Jena. Another senior member of the organizing committee Mr. Nirlipta Mohanty joined the match through video conferencing from India. Mr. Rajat Rath, Mr. Susant Jena and Mr. Nirlipta have been associated with the tournament since its inception and have been part of all the editions of the tournament.
The match was played in a carnival type atmosphere in presence of a huge crowd, primarily composed of Odias. The joy of experiencing a live match in an in-person gathering was very much evident on the faces of the spectators. An elaborate spread of Odia snacks was also organized for the players and spectators. The match was won by Odia Gladiators, Dubai.
Mr. Kishor Dash, Senior Finance Professional with a vast experience in the region, had graced the occasion as a guest, expressed that, this is one of the best ways to spread joy by coming together under the banner of cricket. As per Mr. Kishore, more of these kinds of events are required to create harmony among the members/society.
Mr. Priyadarshee Panigrahi, Senior Business Management Professional and an advisor of the Odisha Cup said that this is one of the largest in-person gatherings of Prabasi Odias in the Middle East and North Africa region in the recent past. He said that a lot of credit should go to the organizing committee to bring all the 11 teams together & provide them a platform to play cricket in a foreign land with all the necessary precautionary measures (COVID-19).
Over the years, Odisha Cup has emerged as an integral part and a permanent fixture in the lives of Odias living in the United Arab Emirates. They eagerly look forward to witnessing this wonderful event since the year of inception. However, last year was an exception since the tournament could not be organized due to the prevailing pandemic.
The organizing committee allows participants from all the sectors/sections of the society. It’s a perfect platform to showcase talent by giving all the participants equal opportunities. The tournament promotes sportsman spirit, brotherhood & unites all the Prabasi Odias under the banner of cricket.
All the teams are professionally managed. They all have a different logo, uniform (jerseys) which is unique & colorful and represents “Unity in Diversity”.
The name of the participating teams this year are (alphabetically);

1. Fujairah Odia Association
2. Jagannath Seva Sangha
3. Son of Kalinga Bira
4. Kalinga Warriors
5. Odisha Blasters
6. Odisha Cricket Club
7. Odisha Samaja Abu Dhabi
8. Star XI Odisha
9. Utkal Challengers
10. Utkal Patriots
11. Utkal Rising Starts
All the matches are held in and IPL type atmosphere with live commentary & online scoring. Online scoring enables viewers across the world to keep track of their favorite teams on a ‘real-time’ basis. A special application called “CricHeroes” is being used for the first time this year. All the matches are being organized in adherence to strict COVID guidelines and all the participants and organizers are fully vaccinated against Coronavirus. The final of the tournament is scheduled to be held on 7th January 2022.
The organizers are making an effort to get prominent personalities from Odisha to grace the occasion as the chief guest. Some of the chief guests at the previous editions have been Shri Ranjib Biswal, former MP (Rajya Sabha) and former IPL Chairman, Shri Shib Sundar Das, Former Indian National Cricket Team Member & Odia Actress Miss Anu Chaudhary.
The responsibility of the smooth conduct of the tournament rests with the organizing committee members who despite their regular professional engagements, take time out and help organizing this two-month long cricket extravaganza. Notable members of the committee are all Abanikanto Patra, Chinmaya Jena, Dev Mishra, Jayant Sahoo, Pradyumna Sahoo, Sambhram Pattnaik and Sujit Khatua. All of them feel that this tournament is a great way for them to remain connected with the game as well as their motherland.