Spikers roar in Kochi before the start of WIPL and IPL
As Indian fans gear up to welcome the first women’s Indian Premier League and IPL a little later in the same month, another league of a very popular sport also tries to shine in three cities – Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi. Though it felt more presence in Southern India, the quality of games in the league is truly heartwarming for volleyball lovers across India.
Defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts once again look strong ahead of their semi-final match against Bengaluru Torpedo. Pawan Kumar Patodia, co-owner of Kolkata Thunderbolts, says, “The performance of Kolkata Thunderbolts has been better than last year. Not only us, but all the teams have performed better this year.” He says, “We feel great to have made it to the playoffs. But in this 15-point format, with super points and super serve factors, it is very difficult to predict which team will emerge as winners. Mistakes or two can make the whole difference. One mistake and the pressure builds. We will try our best and our morale is high. Rest we will see how the game goes.”
With a total of 31 matches being played across three cities, the league featured eight franchises – Kolkata Thunderbolts, Kochi Blue Spikers, Calicut Heroes, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Ahmedabad Defenders, Bengaluru Torpedoes, Chennai Blitz, and Mumbai Meteors – to see some of the matches Are. Amazing, top class and exciting duels between the above teams.
Haryana’s Rohit Kumar, who represented India at the 2018 Asian Games, became the most expensive player of the league (Kochi Blue Spikers), he earned Rs. 17.5 lakhs. The winner of this 2nd Rupay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 will be richer by more than Rs. 40 lakhs. Although India is ranked 68th in the FIVB World Rankings, but the kind of experience Indian players are getting from this tournament, it seems that Team India will benefit in the long run.
A total of 112 players from 10 countries including host India are participating in this top-level tournament. International stars of Indian volleyball such as Ashwal Rai (Kolkata Thunderbolts), Dipesh Kumar Sinha (Kolkata Thunderbolts), Vineet Kumar (Kolkata Thunderbolts), Jerome Vineeth (Calicut Heroes), Akhin GS (Chennai Blitz) and Guru Prashant (Hyderabad Black Hawks) and Venezuelan Olympian Jose Vardi and Australian national team player Trent O’Dea are the shining stars of the tournament.
Its fan base is also getting richer with each season. Tuhin Mishra, Co-Founder, Rupay Prime Volleyball League, says, “In the second season, the first few weeks data saw an increase of almost 50% in viewership, indicating that Indian volleyball players have a much bigger chance to be seen In addition, the Rupay Prime Volleyball League feed is also being streamed internationally across all countries on Volleyball World, hence giving global exposure to the players.” Tuhin further added, “Also, the winning team of Rupay Prime Volleyball League Season 2 will get a chance to play in the Volleyball World Club Championship, which will be held in India for the first time this year. There will be a chance to compete with the best volleyball clubs.
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