KOCHI: The first Prime Volleyball League auction held here Tuesday saw 84 players from the 400+ that went "under the hammer" being picked up by PVL's seven franchises.
Ashwal Rai, Karthik A and Jerome Vinith were acquired for the highest bids (Rs 1.5 million) by Kolkata Thunderbolts, Kochi Blue Spikers and Calicut Heroes respectively.
24 players in the Platinum and Gold categories went under the hammer in the first session of the day. Over 300 players in the U-21, Silver and Bronze categories were up for grabs for the franchises in the second session of the day.
Each of the franchises could select a total of 14 players for their squads, including 12 Indian and 2 International players.
While the Indian players were picked through the player auction, the teams acquired international players through the Prime Volleyball League International Player Draft, which had a pool of 14 players.
The Calicut Heroes acquired International players - Aaron Koubi from France (Attacker), American David Lee (Blocker) and Indian players - Ajithlal C (Attacker - Rs. 8.5 lakh) and Jerome Vinith (Universal - Rs. 15 lakh).
Kochi Blue Spikers picked up International players Colton Cowell (Attacker) and Cody Caldwell (Attacker) from USA and Indian players Deepesh Kumar Sinha (Blocker - Rs. 10.75 lakh) and Karthik A (Blocker - Rs. 15 lakh).
Ahmedabad Defenders bolstered their side with American Ryan Meehan (Blocker), Rodrigo Villalboa from Argentina (Attacker) and Indians Muthusamy (Setter - Rs. 10 lakh), Hardeep Singh (Attacker - Rs. 4.4 lakh), Shon T John (Attacker - 7.25 lakh), Manoj LM (Middle Blocker - Rs. 7.25 lakh) and Prabakaran P (LIBERO - Rs. 4 lakh).
Hyderabad Black Hawks acquired Luis Antonio Arias Guzman from Venezuela (Universal), Henry Bell from Cuba (Attacker) and Indian players Hariharan V (Setter - Rs. 15 lakh), Vipul Kumar (Setter - Rs. 4.5 lakh), Rohit Kumar (Attacker - Rs. 5.3 lakh) and Amit Gulia (Attacker - Rs. 10 lakh).
Chennai Blitz picked up Fernando David Gonzalez Rodriguez from Venezuela (Attacker), Bruno Da Silva from Brazil (Attacker) and Indian players Akhin GS (Middle Blocker - Rs. 9.75 lakh), Naveen Raja Jacob (Attacker - Rs. 8 lakh), Ukkrapandian Mohan (Setter - Rs. 7.75 lakh), GR Vaishnav (Middle Blocker - Rs. 4 lakh).
Bengaluru Torpedoes acquired Noah Taitano from USA (Universal), Kyle Friend also from USA (Attacker) and Indian players Ranjit Singh (Setter - Rs. 4.4 lakh), Pankaj Sharma (Attacker - Rs. 7.5 lakh), Lavmeet Katariya (Middle Blocker - Rs. 4.6 lakh), Rohith P (Middle Blocker - Rs. 7.5 lakh) and B Midhun Kumar (LIBERO - Rs. 5.6 lakh)
Kolkata Thunderbolts picked up Matthew August from USA (Blocker), Ian Satterfield also from USA (Universal) and Indian players Vinit Kumar (Universal - Rs. 8.75 lakh) and Ashwal Rai (Middle Blocker - Rs. 15 lakh).
Prime Volleyball League will be telecast on the Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 3 and Sony TEN 4 along with Sony LIV and the viewers will also have an opportunity to watch their favourite sport in their regional languages.
Prime Volleyball League is exclusively marketed by Baseline Ventures. Indian card payment network RuPay has come on board as title sponsor and fantasy games platform A23 have signed on as “powered by” sponsors in a multi-year deal. EatFit and Nippon Paint are associate sponsors, while Cosco has associated as the official partner.
The Prime Volleyball League will consist of 24 games and the league will shortly be announcing the schedule for the coming season.