Country’s top stars to miss volleyball’s Nationals and Federation Cup

Hope there’s an open trial to pick the Asiad team, says Prime Volleyball League’s most expensive player Rohit

Published - January 11, 2023 08:41 pm IST - KOCHI

Kochi Blue Spikers’ stars (from left to right), attacker Rohit Kumar, setter Vipul Kumar and attacker Erin Varghese in Kochi on Wednesday.

Kochi Blue Spikers’ stars (from left to right), attacker Rohit Kumar, setter Vipul Kumar and attacker Erin Varghese in Kochi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Stan Rayan

The RuPay Prime Volleyball League begins in Bengaluru on February 4 and moves to Hyderabad and Kochi on a month-long journey. But that’s also the time when the National Championship (Guwahati, Feb. 2-9) and the Federation Cup (Kochi, Feb. 28-March 7) will be played in the country.

With the dates clashing, it’s now clear that the country’s biggest stars who will be in action in the PVL will not be able to play in the two national events. But with the Asian Games scheduled to be held in China in September-October, the players are worried too.

Will they be selected if they skip the Nationals and Federation Cup and compete in the privately-run PVL? Who will pick the team? These are questions running in their minds.

“Both the tournaments are important and the PVL is also a wonderful platform to showcase our skills. It will be good if we could play the Nationals and Fed Cup also,” attacker Rohit Kumar, the PVL’s most expensive player at the recent auction, told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

“My ultimate aim is to play for the country, and I feel the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) may be selecting the team. We hope there’s an open trial to pick the team (for the Asiad).”

Young attacker Erin Varghese, who was part of the Kerala team which won the National Games in October, feels that the exposure the PVL players get will help their cause when it comes to picking the Asian team.

“A lot of top officials will be watching our matches, probably even from FIVB (world body), so there could be a change in scene. It will be disappointing if we miss the chance to play for the Indian team … the country’s top players are all here in the PVL,” he said.

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