In what is a shot in the arm for Indian sports, the country is not only set to participate but also play host to the Men’s Volleyball Club World Championships 2023, at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru.
With 10 matches set to unfold between December 6 to 10, this will be India’s first bow at the highest level as the Ahmedabad Defenders face up against the finest from across the world including, reigning champions, Sir Safety Susa Perugia from Italy, the formidable Brazilian duo of Sada Cruzeiro Volei and Minas Tênis Clube, Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds Club, and Turkey’s Halkbank Spor Kulübü.
The Ahmedabad team made it into the tournament following a stellar performance which helped them lift the Prime Volleyball League earlier this year.
The Men’s Volleyball Club World Championships 2023 allows teams to sign players from within their respective domestic leagues, and the Defenders have added bite to their line-up with loan deals for some of the teams.
Top performers from the other PVL franchises, including former champion and captain of the Kolkata Thunderbolts Ashwal Rai will don the Ahmedabad colours.
Ashwal is one of the many players in the Defenders’ unit, who turned out for India in the recently concluded successful Asian Games campaign.
For Ashwal, the local boy from Karnataka, this serves as yet another opportunity to represent India and understandably, he is delighted. Ashwal said, “It is a matter of immense pride for us to represent our country against the world’s best Volleyball players. We are fans of many of these players and it will be an honour to compete with them. This will be round 2 after the Asian Games, and no doubt we want to show them what we can do, and especially with the home support backing us, there is potential for some great contests, and moments that inspire others.”
Concurring on the thought was, Setter, Muthusamy Appavu, who said, “We will be lucky to have the home advantage and to have our friends and well-wishers support us. I am looking forward to a great atmosphere, much like what we experienced at the Bengaluru leg of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League earlier this year. Bengaluru loves Volleyball, and a well-contested tournament will definitely drive crowds to the stadium, we are sure the fans will come in numbers and boost us up.”
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