KOCHI: Like any other youngster, all Akhin Jas wanted was to have a secured job in a good company. Today, Akhin is an icon player in the inaugural edition of Pro Volleyball League (PVL).Akhin and Jerome Vinith are two among the notable volleyball players in the country, having represented India at the international stage.
However, when it comes to this new league, they share the excitement of young players about to make their debut. “At first, you start playing because you love the sport. But then you have to think about securing your career. So you look to get a job playing for some company, play for some time and then start working. But I never expected something like this,” Akhin, who has been playing for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), said.
Akhin the blocker is considered to be one of the brightest prospects in the country. He was the player of the tournament in the last senior national volleyball championship. He has also featured in two editions of Asian Games. Jerome, too, have played in the Games twice.
The two are expected to feature prominently in PVL. “I have been waiting for this all my life. No one came forward to organise such a league before. The sport will get so much publicity in the country, and it will change everything. It is going to change my life,” Jerome said. There is great buzz around the league and the players are all fired up. “We are all preparing three to four times harder than we usually prepare,” Jerome remarked.
The league will be hosted in Kochi and Chennai. Akhin believes that the event will see a good footfall. “We have seen the success of leagues. A sport like kabaddi has tasted such tremendous success because of it. I am sure volleyball will also strike a chord with the public. It is going to be a success.”
Akhin is also thrilled to be playing alongside and against international players. Legendary spiker David Lee is a part of the league, and the 27-year-old feels that the American has already had an impact on him. “When I met Lee recently, he was pointing out a few things about my game. We spoke a lot. It was such a priceless experience for me.”Jerome believes that players coming through the ranks will get a lot of exposure. “These international players will bring their own styles and inputs. Indian players can learn a lot. This is such a big moment for us.”firstname.lastname@example.org