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Kolkata: With Odisha set to host the World Cup Hockey in November this year, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Prime Minister to notify the sport as the country’s national game.

Patnaik shot off a letter to PM Narendra Modi today wherein he has written that he was surprised to discover that notwithstanding the popular perception, hockey has never been accorded the status of the national game.

This is despite that hockey has gifted eight Olympics Gold medals to India so far and the sport is played in over 10 states.

“Cutting across different strata of society and regions, cutting across the rural-urban divide, hockey is hugely popular. In the tribal areas of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, Hockey is a way of life,” Patnaik mentioned.