The first ever Pro Volleyball League draft and auction will take place on the 14th of December in New Delhi. The league, which is an initiative of Baseline Ventures and Volleyball Federation of India, will have its first season in February 2019.
More than hundred Indian players as well as several top international stars are going to go under the hammer in the auction for the first season that is going to see six franchises participate. British sports commentator Patrick Kinghorn will be seen handling the auctioneer duties.
For the auctions, a total of 117 Indian players have been categorized in four categories – Icon players, Indian Sr. International players, domestic players and U-21 players. The international players will be picked by the franchises through a draft process.
The international stars include Olympic gold medalist David Lee, Canada’s Rudy Verhoeff, USA’s Paul Lotman and Carson Clark, Serbia’s Novika Bjelika and Turkey’s Tomislav Coskovic. The list of Indian Icon players include Akhin, Ukkra Pandian, Deepesh, Gurinder Singh, Vinit Kumar, Jerome Vinith and Prabhagaran S.
According to the league rules, the first season will see 12 players in each team, with the provision of a maximum of two reserve players. Each squad will have two Sr. International Players, Indian Icon Player and a minimum of two Indian U-21 Players. The rest of the players will be selected from the pool of Indian International and Indian domestic players. Each team will have a salary purse of Rs. 75 lakhs.
Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, the Secretary General of Volleyball Federation of India, sounded upbeat about the league’s first ever auction. He said, “There is no better time to be a volleyball player than now with the emergence of the Pro Volleyball League. We have seen how other sporting leagues have changed the lives of the players and raised the level of the sport in the country. The list of players in the pool available to teams through auction and draft will surely make the first edition exciting.”
Tuhin Mishra, Co-founder & MD, Baseline Ventures Pvt. Ltd, said, “These are exciting times for us at the Pro Volleyball League as we inch closer to the player draft and auction. We have received an overwhelming response from foreign players who were keen on being part of the event and with a strong pool of talented Indian players. With that we are ready to kick-off what promises to be one of the most entertaining and action-packed sporting events. ”
The six teams on board to participate in the first edition of Pro Volleyball League will be Ahmedabad Defenders, Calicut Heroes, Chennai Spartans, U Mumba Volley, Black Hawks Hyderabad and Kochi Blue Spikers. The league will be played in two legs across Kochi and Chennai from February 2nd to February 22nd and will be broadcasted live on SONY TEN 3 and SONY SIX.