Hockey World Cup 2018: Meet Nikas Kanhar, the Virat Kohli ‘Superfan’ who has turned into Hockey, for now

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Hockey World Cup 2018: Meet Nikas Kanhar, the Virat Kohli 'Superfan' who has turned into Hockey, for now

For ardent cricket lovers in the nation, the tricolor-coated visuals of a certain Virat Kohli enthusiast come to an as small surprise. Though not popular as the iconic Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary — immortalized in the lore of Indian cricket for his devotion to Sachin Tendulkar — Nikas Kanhar’s presence in about 55 India matches across formats has made him a familiar face in the audience. Kanhar was spotted from the Kalinga Stadium for the India games and says his love for cheering the nation brought him into a sport he does not follow. 

“I don’t follow hockey. I haven’t been to a hockey match ever, but how could I’ve missed a chance to cheer for India when the World Cup is being hosted in my country?” Kanhar, a resident of Phulbani in Odisha’s Kandhamal district. 

An official statement from Cooperative India stated there will be fun activities such as Q&A with the players where the lovers can request them to sing, dance or even share their tips on baseball. There will also be a lot of selfies being clicked with the staff and the fans, a ball-juggling contest among players and a lot of more which claims to leave the audiences enthralled. 

“We wanted to make the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 a really memorable experience for the fans who have turned out in great numbers to cheer for their favorite teams and produce an electrifying atmosphere in the arena that motivates the players to do their best,” the announcement said quoting Hockey India CEO Elena Norman. 

There are plenty of different actions in the Fan Village spanning about 18,000 square/meter within the iconic Kalinga Stadium with actions such as a 360-degree photograph booth, trampoline for children, three-a-side hockey turf for those who feel inspired by their favorite stars playing with the prestigious event and desire to emulate the action on a mini-turf. 

There’s also an India Post postage stall at which you can buy the newly-launched postage for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 besides older stamps for collection. It also includes several eatery stalls. 

State sports secretary Vishal Dev said the Fan Village provides a different experience of the tournament to audiences. He said the idea was to engage fans in a variety of activities aside from sports.