Kochi & Jaipur to host Volley league

Kochi and Jaipur will play host to the inaugural edition of Pro Volleyball, the IPL-style league being organised by the Volleyball Federation of India and Baseline Ventures.The development

Published: 24th May 2018 01:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2018 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Player auctions for the new volleyball league will be held in July

Express News Service

CHENNAI : Kochi and Jaipur will play host to the inaugural edition of Pro Volleyball, the IPL-style league being organised by the Volleyball Federation of India and Baseline Ventures.The development comes straight after the league received blessings from the FIVB, which governs the sport worldwide. VFI secretary Ramavtar Singh Jakhar revealed that while Kochi was always on the cards, Jaipur was finalised after Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore lent his support to the project.

Rathore represents the city in Lok Sabha. “I had a meeting with the minister and he was enthusiastic about the project,” Jakhar said. “He promised us full backing and told us to go ahead with it.” Jakhar also confirmed that the league will be following in the footsteps of the IPL, the Indian Super League and the Pro-Kabaddi league, in terms of celebrity involvement. “Prominent Bollywood celebrities have picked up the documents.

There will be a lot of big names when the teams are announced,” he said. The bidding process for the league opened on May 15 with bidders able to choose from 14 prospective bases for their team. The six teams and their owners will be revealed in June. Earlier, the planned league received a shot in the arm when the FIVB threw its weight behind it. The letter comes only days after the FIVB officially revoked the suspension that it had placed on the VFI in 2016. According to a VFI statement, a letter from FIVB President Ary S Graca said, “I congratulate you on the creation of the Pro Volleyball league in India.

This is the most important step for the development of our beloved sport in the country. Developing the sport of volleyball in India is one of the top priorities for FIVB and we extend all our support to the Pro Volleyball league in as many ways as possible.” FIVB’s support will make a number of aspects, including the procurement of foreign players and the participation of Pro Volleyball teams in international events, easier.

“The FIVB president has assured us of his help in attracting top international players,” Jakhar said. “We are extremely grateful to FIVB for the support they have offered for developing volleyball in the country, we now look forward to working closely with them for developing a roadmap which will make India one of the top volleyball nations in the world.

We will also be inviting the FIVB president to grace the opening of the Pro Volleyball league.” Player auctions are scheduled for July, while the foreign players will be recruited via player draft. As of now, the league will have 18 matches played over the two venues. “We already have a pool of around 100 Indian players and will be looking to add around 20 international players to it.” vishnu@newindianexpress.com

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