Prime Volleyball League Auction: Karthik, Ashwal and Jerome get the maximum

Middle blocker Karthik, picked by Kochi Blue Spikers, was one of the three who were sold for Rs 15 lakh, the others being internationals Ashwal Rai (Kolkata Thunderbolts) and Jerome Vineeth (Calicut Heroes).

Ashwal Rai (Left) in action.   -  H. Vibhu

Karthik went for Rs 5.6 lakh at the last auction three years ago, but this time, he struck it rich at the Prime Volleyball League's player auction here on Tuesday going for Rs 15 lakh, the maximum allowed.

Middle blocker Karthik, picked by Kochi Blue Spikers, was one of the three who were sold for Rs 15 lakh, the others being internationals Ashwal Rai (Kolkata Thunderbolts) and C. Jerome Vineeth (Calicut Heroes).

“I thought I'd get Rs 10 lakh maximum, I didn't expect this,” the 32-year-old Karthik, India's captain at the Asian championship in Japan in September, told Sportstar.

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“Playing for teams in Kerala, which is a hot place for volleyball, is something I wanted very much.”

After the international player draft, where the seven sides picked two foreigners each, the teams were left with Rs 45 lakh each. Kochi, also the PVL host city early next year, had spent the most in the platinum category, which had the top Indian stars.

“This particular auction is a celebration of the players of India, we are very happy to see 400 of them out here. The last time we had a volleyball player auction, we had some 114 players,” said Joy Bhattacharya, the PVL's CEO.

Players picked by teams (foreigners; and Indians from platinum and gold category only):

Calicut Heroes: Foreigners: Aaron Koubi (France, attacker), David Lee (US, blocker); Indians: C. Ajithlal (attacker, Rs 8.5 lakh), Jerome Vinith (universal, Rs 15 lakh).

Kochi Blue Spikers: Colton Cowell (attacker), Cody Caldwell (attacker, both US); Deepesh Kumar Sinha (blocker, Rs 10.75 lakh), A. Karthik (blocker, Rs. 15 lakh).

Ahmedabad Defenders: Ryan Meehan (US, blocker), Rodrigo Villalboa (Argentina, attacker); Muthusamy (setter, Rs 10 lakh), Hardeep Singh (attacker, Rs 4.4 lakh), Shon T. John (attacker, Rs. 7.25 lakh), L.M. Manoj (middle blocker, Rs. 7.25 lakh) and P. Prabakaran (Libero, Rs. 4 lakh).

Hyderabad Black Hawks: Luis Antonio Arias Guzman (Venezuela, universal), Henry Bell (Cuba, attacker); V. Hariharan (setter, Rs 5 lakh), Vipul Kumar (setter, Rs. 4.5 lakh), Rohit Kumar (attacker Rs 5.3 lakh) and Amit Gulia (attacker, Rs 10 lakh).

Chennai Blitz: Fernando David Gonzalez Rodriguez (Venezuela, attacker), Bruno Da Silva (Brazil, attacker); Indian players G.S. Akhin (middle blocker, Rs. 9.75 lakh), Naveen Raja Jacob (attacker, Rs 8 lakh), M. Ukkrapandian (setter, Rs. 7.75 lakh), G.R. Vaishnav (middle blocker, Rs. 4 lakh).

Bengaluru Torpedoes: Noah Taitano (US, universal), Kyle Friend (US, attacker); Ranjit Singh (setter, Rs 4.4 lakh), Pankaj Sharma (attacker, Rs. 7.5 lakh), Lavmeet Katariya (middle blocker, Rs 4.6 lakh), P. Rohith (middle blocker, Rs. 7.5 lakh), B. Midhun Kumar (libero, Rs 5.6 lakh)

Kolkata Thunderbolts: Matthew August (US, blocker), Ian Satterfield (US, universal); Vinit Kumar (universal, Rs. 8.75 lakh), Ashwal Rai (middle blocker, Rs 15 lakh).

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