NEW DELHI: It may only be a couple of weeks old, but the Pro Volleyball League (PVL) is generating quite a buzz amongst the international volleyball community. As was the case with the initial seasons of the Indian Super League, PVL organisers too had gone for some tried and tested names for their first season, hoping that they would be able to attract youngsters who are more in the international scheme of things from next year. Things look to be going according to plan.
If some of the foreign players, who are currently playing in the league, are to be believed, the social media posts that were shared from their accounts have gained traction from some of their younger counterparts. Many of them have enquired them about the possibility of being a part of it starting next year in what will be a huge relief for organisers. “I have spoken to some of my friends from the national team and they are all very interested. I can’t name anyone. But depending on what plans the league has for the next year, some of them might come down. The response has been great back home and one of the reasons is the kind of coverage the league is getting on TV,” Paul Lotman of Calicut Heroes, said.
Fellow American and Olympic gold medallist David Lee too had the same thing to say. “There is a buzz back home and people are looking forward to what the future holds for India’s budding professional volleyball league. My friends have enjoyed watching it as well as the new scoring system the league has implemented,” Lee, who plays for Kochi Blue Spikers, said.
While CEO Joy Bhattacharjya pointed out that some of the foreign players are still part of their respective national teams, what took him by shock is the number of players who have asked about the possibility of joining some of the franchises after the Kochi leg. “Around 100-150 players from abroad have enquired about how to get into the league,” he said.
With PVL making it mandatory to have two Indian U-21 players per team, young Indian spikers can also get a taste of what it is like to play at the highest level. “We are hoping that young Indian players can benefit from the league. By next year, we will get more young foreign players also. We are looking at some more traditional volleyball-playing countries as well to increase the popularity,” Ramavtar Jakhar, Volleyball Federation of India’s secretary, said.
Spartans in final
The second semifinal of PVL saw Chennai Spartans overcome Kochi Blue Spikers 3-2
on Wednesday. Results: Chennai Spartans bt Kochi Blue Spikers 3-2 (16-14, 9-15, 10-15, 15-8, 15-13).