The first season of the Rupay Prime Volleyball League commences at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here from February 5 to 27.
The tournament features seven teams - Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes and Kolkata Thunderbolts - and 24 matches will be played. Spectators are not allowed at the venues because of COVID-19 guidelines, as all teams have already been training here in a bio-bubble.
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In the inaugural match on Saturday, host Hyderabad will take on Kochi. Hyderabad will look to the experience of attacker Amit Gulia who in turn will expect able support from setters V. Hariharan and captain Vipul Kumar. The internationals who add variety to the composition include Luis Antonio Arias Guzman (Venezuela) and Henry Bell (Cuba). Rohit Kumar, George Antony, Anand K., Sudheer Shetty, John Joseph E. J., Jishnu P. V., Praful S. and S. V. Guru Prasanth are the other players in the squad.
For Kochi, Karthik Madhu, the captain and central blocker for India in the last international tournament, will depend on the experience of middle-blocker Deepesh Kumar Sinha and Colton Cowell and Cody Caldwell, both attackers from the U.S.
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The rest of the squad includes Raison Benet Rebello, Sethu T. R., Erin Varghese, Darshan S Gowda, C. Venu, Abhinav B. S., Dushyanth G. N., Prashant Kumar Saroha, Asham A. and Abdul Raheem.
“We are moments away from a massive occasion not just in Indian volleyball, but in Indian sport overall. We have waited for a long time to provide a platform to numerous talented volleyball players wherein they can showcase their talent and therefore we are eager to get the tournament started,” Tuhin Mishra, co-founder and MD, Baseline Ventures (the organisers) said.
Matches will be telecast live on Sony Ten1 , Sony Ten 2 (Malayalam), Sony Ten3 (Hindi), and Sony Ten 4 (Tamil and Telugu).
- Hyderabad Black Hawks vs Kochi Blue Spikers - 7.00 pm.