Indian setter Ranjit Singh emerged as the top pick in the first Pro Volleyball League auction which also saw six foreign and 117 Indian players going under the hammer in New Delhi on Friday.
Singh was the costliest Indian player with Ahmedabad Defenders shelling out Rs 13 lakhs for him.
“I am excited to see what’s building up here. For all of us, this is a new chapter and hope we can live up to the expectations and faith shown in us by the team owners, federation and organizers here,” Singh said.
In the foreign player draft, the Black Hawks Hyderabad got Round 1 first pick and they chose Carson Clark. Paul Lotman was the second pick joining Calicut Heroes. The third pick of the foreign draft was Rudy Verhoeff joining Chennai Spartans.
Tomislav Coskovic, David Lee and Novica Bjelica were picked 4th, 5th & 6th by U Mumba Volley, Kochi Blue Spikers and Ahmedabad Defenders respectively.
Olympic Gold medallist Lee, who was drafted by Kochi Blue Spikers, said: “I am thrilled to join the Kochi Blue Spikers. The league will do a world of good not only to the players but also the sport and its fans. Can’t wait to get to India and get in the thick of action.”
The Pro Volleyball League (PVL) scheduled to begin from February 2 in Chennai and Kochi will have six franchisees that includes Ahmedabad Defenders, Chennai Spartans, U Mumba Volley , Black Hawks Hyderabad and the Kochi Blue Spikers.
Each of the six teams will have 12 players including two foreign players, one Indian icon player and two Indian U-21 players.
The league will be played over a total of 18 matches with each team playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
Volleyball Federation of India, Secretary General, Ramavtar Singh Jhakar also a former player said: “It is a known fact that well-organized leagues can give a sport much-needed shot in the arm. We expect Pro Volleyball League to do that to Volleyball. The player draft and auction is the beginning of the fillip that the sport needs.