A total of 75 players were sold between eight franchises after the bidding ended at the second edition of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Auctions, powered by A23, at the Hyatt Regency, Salt Lake, Kolkata on Thursday. With 531 players registering their names this time for the auctions, the second season of RuPay Prime Volleyball League, powered by A23, is touted to be even bigger and better this time around.

With the league, which is exclusively co-owned and marketed by India’s leading sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures, onboarding Volleyball World as an International Streaming partner, Indian volleyball players will have a glorious opportunity to showcase their talents to the world for the first time.

At the auctions, the teams acquired International players through the Prime Volleyball League International Player Draft, which had a pool of 16 players. The Indian players picked through the Player Auctions, were divided into four categories according to their base price – Platinum (Base price: Rs 8 lakh), Gold (Base price: Rs 5 lakh), Silver (Base price: Rs 3 lakh), and Bronze (Base price: Rs 2 lakh).

Attacker Rohit Kumar was acquired for the highest bid of Rs 17.5 lakhs by Kochi Blue Spikers, while the 34-year-old setter Ranjit Singh and young attacker Chirag Yadav were bought at Rs 12.25 lakhs by Hyderabad Black Hawks and Calicut Heroes, respectively.

Calicut Heroes acquired Cuba’s Jose Antonio Sandoval Rojas (Middle Blocker) and USA’s Matt Hilling (Attacker) from the international players’ pool. The franchise bought M Ashwin Raj (Attacker) for Rs 6.75 lakhs, and then went big for Chirag Yadav (Attacker) and bought him for Rs 12.25 lakhs. From the Silver category, Calicut Heroes bought Mohan Ukkrapandian (Setter) for Rs 3 lakhs and Shafeeque Rahman (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3.6 lakhs. The franchise bought Lavmeet Katariya (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3.90 Lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Calicut Heroes bought Ansab O (Universal) for Rs 2 Lakhs to Calicut Heroes, Prabakaran (Libero) for Rs 5.50 Lakhs to Calicut Heroes, and Sushil Kumar (Setter) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Kochi Blue Spikers picked up International players Eduardo Romay (Attacker) from Peru and Brazil’s Walter Da Cruz Neto (Middle Blocker). The franchise went hammer and tongs after Indian attacker Rohit Kumar and bought him for Rs 17.5 Lakhs, and then bought Vipul Kumar (Setter) for Rs 10.75 lakhs from the Gold category. The franchise returned to auctions in the Silver category buying Fayis NK (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3 lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Kochi Blue Spikers bought Pavan Ramesh (Setter) for Rs 2 lakhs, Ashwin Rag VT (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Jibin Sebastian (Universal) for Rs 2 Lakhs, and George Antony (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakh to Kochi Blue Spikers.

Ahmedabad Defenders bolstered their side with international players Iran’s Danial Moatazedi (Middle Blocker) and USA’s Andrew Kohut James (Attacker). The franchise picked up Middle blocker L M Manoj for Rs 8.75 lakhs from the Platinum category. Ahmedabad also bought Angamuthu (Universal) for 7.40 Lakh. In the final round of auctions, Ahmedabad Defenders bought Aswath (Setter) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Nandhagopal S (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Harsh Chaudhary (Universal) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Parth Patel (Middle Blocker) for Rs 2 Lakhs and T Shrikant (Universal) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Hyderabad Black Hawks picked up Colombia’s Carlos Andres Llanos Zamora (Attacker) and Australia’s Trent O’Dea (Middle Blocker) from the international players’ pool. The franchise bought Ranjit Singh (Setter) for Rs 12.25 lakhs from the Platinum category. The franchise bought Lal Sujan MV (Setter) for rs 4.50 lakhs, and Ashamatullah (Attacker) for Rs 5.30 lakhs. The Black Hawks bought Arun Zacharias Siby (Universal) for Rs 4 lakhs and Saurabh Maan (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3 lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Hyderabad Black Hawks bought Hemanth P (Attacker) – Rs 4.80 Lakhs and Varun GS (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Chennai Blitz picked up Cameroon’s Moyo Audran (Attacker) and Brazil’s Renato Mendes (Attacker) from the international players’ pool. The franchise bought Prasanna Raja (Setter) for Rs 4.10 lakhs. The franchise also bought Mohamed Riyazudeen (Attacker) for Rs. 6.60 lakhs. Chennai bought Ramanathan R (Libero) for Rs 3 Lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Chennai Blitz bought Raman Kumar (Attacker) for Rs 4.90 Lakhs, Jobin Varughese (Universal) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Tushar Laware (Middle Blocker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, and Y V Sita Rama Raju (Middle Blocker) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Bengaluru Torpedoes acquired Iran’s Alireza Abalooch (Attacker) and Colombia’s Sebastian Giraldo (Attacker) from the international players’ pool. The franchise bought Sethu TR (Attacker) for Rs 9.75 lakhs and Ibin Jose (Universal) for Rs 3 lakhs. Bengaluru also bought Jishnu P V (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3 lakhs and Mujeeb MC (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3 Lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Bengaluru Torpedoes bought Gokulnath (Setter) for Rs 2 Lakh, Nisam Muhammed A (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, and Sudheer Shetty (Middle Blocker) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Kolkata Thunderbolts picked up USA’s Cody Caldwell (Attacker) and Venezuela’s Jose Verdi (Middle Blocker) from the international players’ pool. The franchise bought back Rahul K (Attacker) for Rs 7 Lakhs and then bought Hariharan V (Setter) for Rs 3.30 lakhs. In the final round of auctions, the defending champions bought Deepesh Sinha (Middle Blocker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Anush (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Suryansh Tomar (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs, Abhilash Chaudhary (Middle Blocker) for Rs 3.60 Lakhs and Hari Prasad B S (Attacker) for Rs 2 Lakhs.

Mumbai Meteors picked up international players Brandon Greenway (Attacker) from the USA and Hiroshi Centelles (Attacker) from Cuba. The new franchise bought Middle Blocker Karthik A. for Rs 10 lakhs from the Platinum category. Mumbai also bought Amit Gulia (Attacker) for 7.10 lakhs and Hardeep Singh (Attacker) for Rs 6.60 lakhs. The franchise brought Rohith P. (Middle-Blocker) for Rs 5 lakhs. The franchise bought Jithin N (Setter) for Rs 5.30 lakhs. In the final round of auctions, Mumbai Meteors bought Abdul Raheem (Universal) for Rs 3 Lakhs and Ratheesh CK (Libero) for Rs 2 Lakhs, and also roped in Shameem (Blocker), Shameem (Blocker), Aravindhan S (Setter).

Joy Bhattacharya, CEO, RuPay Prime Volleyball League, powered by A23, said, “We expected a thunderous response at the auctions after the success of our first edition, and yet it has been absolutely fantastic to see that they have still managed to exceed all our expectations this year. All the franchises came prepared with clear strategies in mind on which players they want to include in their team set-up. It is always exciting to see fresh squads being formed and I am confident the upcoming season will be an action-packed one.”

Tuhin Mishra, Co-Founder & MD, Baseline Ventures, said, “I think the auctions were phenomenal and a great success. All the teams came prepared with strategies and it was fantastic to see how much everyone in the country is getting invested in the sport. We have expanded ourselves this season with a new team this time, and there were plenty of fresh faces who came in for the first time in the auction pool and earned big bucks. It was great to see the excitement of all the franchises at the auctions, and these are signs of a revolution in the sport of volleyball.”

Players’ List (Till first two rounds of auctions):

Ahmedabad Defenders:

Retained: Muthusamy Appavu (Setter); Shon T John (Attacker); S Santhosh (Attacker)

Players bought at auction: Players bought at auction: Danial Moatazedi (Middle Blocker), Andrew Kohut James (Attacker), L M Manoj (Middle blocker), Angamuthu (Universal), Aswath (Setter), Nandhagopal S (Attacker), Harsh Chaudhary (Universal), Parth Patel (Middle Blocker), T Shrikant (Universal)

Bengaluru Torpedoes:

Retained: Pankaj Sharma (Attacker); B Midhun Kumar (Libero); Vinayak Rokhade (Setter)

Players bought at auction: Alireza Abalooch (Attacker), Sebastian Giraldo (Attacker), Sethu TR  (Attacker), Ibin Jose (Universal), Jishnu P V (Middle Blocker), Mujeeb MC (Middle Blocker), Nisam Muhammed A (Attacker), Sudheer Shetty (Middle Blocker), Gokulnath (Setter)

Calicut Heroes:

Retained: Jerome Vinith (Universal); Abil Krishnan MP (Attacker)

Players bought at auction: Jose Antonio Sandoval Rojas (Middle Blocker), Matt Hilling (Attacker), M Ashwin Raj (Attacker), Chirag Yadav (Attacker), Mohan Ukkrapandian (Setter), Shafeeque Rahman (Middle Blocker), Lavmeet Katariya (Middle Blocker), Ansab O (Universal), Prabakaran (Libero), and Sushil Kumar (Setter).

Chennai Blitz:

Retained: Akhin GS (Blocker); Naveen Raja Jacob (Attacker); Pinamma Prashanth (Setter)

Players bought at auction: Moyo Audran (Attacker), Renato Mendes (Attacker), Prasanna Raja (Setter), Mohamed Riyazudeen (Attacker), Ramanathan R (Libero), Raman Kumar (Attacker), Jobin Varughese (Universal), Tushar Laware (Middle Blocker), Y V Sita Rama Raju (Middle Blocker)

Hyderabad Black Hawks:

Retained: Guru Prashanth (Universal); John Joseph EJ (Blocker); Anand K (Libero)

Players bought at auction: Carlos Andres Llanos Zamora (Attacker), Trent O’Dea (Middle Blocker), Ranjit Singh (Setter), Lal Sujan MV (Setter), Ashamatullah (Attacker), Arun Zacharias Siby (Universal), Saurabh Maan (Middle Blocker), Hemanth P (Attacker), Varun GS (Attacker)

Kochi Blue Spikers:

Retained: Erin Varghese (Attacker); Venu C (Libero); Dushyanth GN (Blocker)

Players bought at auction: Eduardo Romay (Attacker), Walter Da Cruz Neto (Middle Blocker), Rohit Kumar (Attacker), Vipul Kumar (Setter), Fayis NK (Middle Blocker), Pavan Ramesh (Setter), Ashwin Rag VT (Attacker), Jibin Sebastian (Universal), George Antony (Attacker)

Mumbai Meteors:

Bought at formation: Anu James (Attacker)

Players bought at auction: Brandon Greenway (Attacker), Hiroshi Centelles (Attacker), Karthik A. (Middle Blocker), Amit Gulia (Attacker), Hardeep Singh (Attacker), Rohith P (Middle-Blocker), Jithin N (Setter), Abdul Raheem (Universal), Ratheesh CK (Libero), Shameem (Blocker), Aravindhan S (Setter).

Kolkata Thunderbolts:

Retained: Ashwal Rai (Attacker); Vinit Kumar (Universal) Janshad U (Setter)

Players bought at auction: Cody Caldwell (Attacker), Jose Verdi (Middle Blocker), Rahul K (Attacker), Hariharan V (Setter), Deepesh Sinha (Middle Blocker), Anush (Attacker), Suryansh Tomar (Attacker), Abhilash Chaudhary (Middle Blocker), Hari Prasad B S (Attacker)

For Season 2, which is expected to commence in early 2023, the commercial arm of global body of Volleyball (Fédération Internationale de Volley Ball, FIVB), Volleyball World has joined hands with PVL coming on board as the International streaming partners in a multiyear association. Sony Sports Network continues to be the host broadcaster & the fans are looking forward to exciting 31 games to be played in Season 2 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23.

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