Bhubaneswar: The Kalinga Stadium here is set to host the 2018 Hockey World Cup from November 28 to December 16 with 16 the participation of countries including India.

Ahead of the showpiece tournament, the Department of Sports and Youth Services and Odisha state government launched the official mascot of the event - Olly at the Puri sea beach.

It is not only for the promotion of the event but also to raise awareness on conserving the threatened turtle Olive Ridley, about to reach extinction. Olly also signifies the right spirit of the sport and fair play.

The unveiling was followed by a show put up by the mascot and a photo session with the onlookers. Reports suggest that Odisha is going to witness one of the grandest events later this year with AR Rahman performs at the opening ceremony.

India, having won the world title back in 1975, will be preparing for the mega event with the Hero Asian Championships Trophy from October 18. The Indian team will be competing against Malaysia, Korea, Pakistan and Japan.