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.
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)
The highest Bid went to 17.5 lakhs for Rohit Kumar by Kochi Blue Spikers
1 cr purse for each team
National Level League Player Auction in The City of Joy
Kolkata, 13th October 2022:
The Players Auctions for the 2nd edition of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23, was held for the very first time in Kolkata today, home of the defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts. Hyatt Regency witnessed a star-studded event with the primary owners of all 8 franchises now with PhonePe founders’ recent acquisition of the Mumbai franchise gathering in the city of joy, along with marquee international volleyball stars. The Kolkata Thunderbolts auction table was manned by Shri Pawan Kumar Patodia (Chairman & Co-Owner), Vinay Kishan and Vineet Bhandari (Co-owners), Sumedh Patodia (Team Director), Mr. Narayan Alva (Head Coach) and Mr. Amrit Pal Singh (Assistant Coach) of the Kolkata Thunderbolts management, along with retained players – captain of the squad Ashwal Rai and the MVP of season 1, Vinit Kumar.
Mr. Amit Desai from Surat based Charu Jewels flew in specially for the event and serenaded the entire last year’s Kolkata Thunderbolts squad with a Championship Ring before the auction.
The other franchise owners also present at the auction include Mr. Thomas Muthoot from the Muthoot Fincorp Group, Mr. Ankit Nagori from Curefoods, Mr. Safeer Beacon from Beacon Infotech, and Mr. Sameer Nigam and Mr. Rahul Chari from PhonePe. The auction was conducted by Manish Batavia under the league CEO and sports industry veteran Joy Bhattacharjya, who acted as the overseer.
The Player auctions for the 2nd edition of the league were an even more exciting event with the players signing 2-year contracts with the respective franchises, the league going international this year with their association with Volleyball World, and the 8th franchise coming on board. The attendees’ bid for the top volleyball players from India, along with a draft for top international volleyball stars from around the world, to be a part of the upcoming action-packed season in February.
Addressing the media, Shri Pawan Kumar Patodia, Chairman & Co-Owner, of Kolkata Thunderbolts said, “This particular auction is a celebration of the players of India, and we are very happy to see a phenomenal rise in the number of professional players registered with us from all around the country to more than 500. The significant increase inspired us to build a squad this year that reflected true representation from all parts of India while bringing glory to our beloved state. 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. We are looking forward to a cracker of a tournament. I would like to wish all the franchises the best of luck for the competition.”
About Kolkata Thunderbolts: The Kolkata Thunderbolts is the inaugural season champion volleyball franchise from RuPay Prime Volleyball League. The team’s owners are Pawan Kumar Patodia, Vineet Bhandari, and Vinay Kishan. The RuPay Prime Volleyball League features eight city-based franchises–Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes, Mumbai Meteors, and Kolkata Thunderbolts competing in a single round-robin format Volleyball league with the first season held in Hyderabad in February 2022. The league was broadcasted on Sony TV Network and garnered a viewership of 133 million country-wide.