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Prime Volleyball League: 504 players go under hammer in Season 3 player auction

Bengaluru, Dec 7, 2023
A total of 504 players went under the hammer here on Thursday as nine franchises bid for the finest volleyball talent in India ahead of Season 3 of the Prime Volleyball League.

Representing, the North Belt, Delhi Toofans joined the likes of Ahmedabad Defenders, Kochi Blue Spikers, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes, Kolkata Thunderbolts, Mumbai Meteors and Calicut as the newest entrants to the League.

At the auctions, attacker Aman Kumar and U21 prospect and setter, Sameer secured record bids to emerge as the most expensive players of the auction with a price tag of Rs 18 lakh each. Aman was secured by Kochi Blue Spikers while Sameer went to Chennai Blitz.

With a purse of Rs 70 lakh, each franchise had the option to retain their players from the previous season or release them into the auction pool.

The Indian players were slotted divided into four categories, whereas International players were directly drafted into the teams. The categories included: Platinum (Base price: Rs 8 lakh), Gold (Base price: Rs 5 lakh), Silver (Base price: Rs 3 lakh), and Bronze (Base price: Rs 2 lakh).

Ahmedabad Defenders, who are currently competing in the Men’s Club World Championships as reigning champions of the Prime Volleyball League, strengthened their squad with the addition of Shikhar Singh (middle blocker) for 16.75 lakh and once again found Shon T John (attacker) for 11.5 lakh.

The Defenders finished their auction with the purchase of Naveen Raja Jacob (attacker) for Rs 2 lakh.

With the largest list of retained players, Bengaluru Torpedoes had a comfortable auction as they solely purchased Tanish Chaudhary (attacker) for Rs 5 Lakh.

Calicut Heroes’ first buy of the day was Prince (attacker), bought at Rs 7.8 lakh. The Heroes also picked up Alan Ashique (libero) at Rs 3 lakh and Vikas Maan (middle blocker), Aman Kumar (setter) and Praveen Kumar at a price tag of Rs 2 lakh.

Chennai Blitz, in a landmark bid, commissioned the services of U21 player Sameer (setter) from the gold category, while making the highest bid in auction history at Rs 18 lakh.

R. Prabhakaran (libero) and Himanshu Tyagi (attacker) also found their way to the Chennai Blitz at the price of Rs 3 lakh each. Meanwhile, Suryan Nanjil (setter) was sought by the Blitz for Rs 2.6 lakh while Joel Benjamin (attacker) joined the squad priced at Rs 2 lakh.

Competing in their debut season, the Delhi Toofans were given the option to draft people ahead of the auction. They opened their auction with veteran Rohit Kumar (attacker) for Rs 11.25 lakh, followed by a successful bid of Rs 3.4 lakh for Amal K. Thomas (attacker).

For a middle-blocker, the Toofans scooped up Fayis NK at Rs 3 lakh, and Manoj Kumar came in (universal) at Rs 3 lakh.

Hyderabad Black Hawks began their auction with the acquisition of Prince (middle blocker) for Rs 14.75 lakh and Sahil Kumar (universal) for Rs 10 lakh. Furthermore, Ashok (attacker) joined the Hyderabad set-up for Rs 2 lakh.

Kochi Blue Spikers were relentless in their pursuit of Aman Kumar (attacker), roping him in for a record price of Rs 18 lakh, making him the most expensive buy in the league’s history. Sachin K. (middle blocker) joined the squad at Rs 5 lakh while Jithin N. (setter) was bagged for Rs 5.9 lakh.

The Spiker further strengthened their teams with the addition of Om Vasant Lad (setter) for Rs 6.1 lakh, Digvijay Singh (middle blocker) for 4.75 lakh and veteran libero Ratheesh for Rs 2 lakh.

Kolkata Thunderbolts made their first purchase of the day, with a Rs 7 lakh bid for Vinayak (setter). The Thunderbolts went on to make investments in Prabhagaran (attacker), Arjun Nath L.S. (middle blocker), Amit Chokker (attacker) and Deepak Kumar (attacker) for Rs 3 lakh. However, Kolkata’s biggest purchase was Praful S (middle blocker) for Rs 9.25 lakh.

Mumbai Meteors were the most active franchise in the platinum category, obtaining Shubham Chaudhary (universal) for Rs 14 lakh and Ajith Lal (attacker) for Rs 8.25 lakh. The Meteors also procured Uttar Pradesh’s Vipul Kumar (setter) for Rs 5.1 lakh, Suyansh Tomar (attacker) for Rs. 3.2 lakh and Saurabh Mann for Rs 2 lakh.

Joy Bhattacharjya, CEO, Prime Volleyball League, said: “Much like the previous two editions of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League, we have had yet another thrilling auction.

It is always fascinating to see the different strategies each franchise will deploy to strengthen their respective teams and based on the day’s proceedings I am certain that we are in for another riveting season of volleyball.”(Agency)

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