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Now, an Indian Volley League
« on: June 05, 2011, 07:35:04 AM »

Now, an Indian Volley League
May 26, 2011 By Vijay Anand DC

The Hyderabad Chargers players practise at the Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy Indoor stadium — K.V.S Giri

The astonishing success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) always meant there would be a trickle down effect on to the other sports in India.

It was only going to be a matter of time before they cashed in on the raging popularity of the league format and began competitive tournaments of their own.

The Badminton Association of India is mulling a league along the lines of the IPL, but the Volleyball Federation of India beat them to the punch by launching the Indian Volley League (IVL) earlier in the year.

The Federation picked a judicious mix of 60 players, including seniors and juniors, and drew lots to distribute them evenly across six franchises — Hyderabad Chargers, Chennai Spikers, Maratha Warriors, Kerala Killers, Karnataka Bulls and Yanam Tigers.

Now, there’s less than one week to go for the inaugural edition of the IVL to take off and the team from Hyderabad, the Hyderabad Chargers, are hard at work at the Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium at Yousufguda.

The coach of the team, M.H. Kumara, a Sports Authority of India coach based out of Bengaluru, feels it’s not just talent that will determine the winner of the IVL, but a more cerebral factor.

“As far as talent is concerned, all the teams are more or less equal, but each team is playing 20 games, five each in Bengaluru, Chennai, Yanam and Hyderabad. So to maintain the level of intensity and competition for those many matches requires tremendous mental strength and will power. For the first season, I think it will be this factor that will separate the winner from the rest,” Kumara said.

Hyderabad skipper, Ukkrapandian, who also captains the national side, said his biggest challenge this year would be to get the members of his team to gel as a unit.

“We have seasoned players like Gurinder (Singh), Sube Singh, (Vinod) Negi and others. I have played with them quite a lot so we are comfortable with each other. But the challenge is to make these players get along with the younger ones who aren’t quite used to this level of exposure. If I can do that, I’m sure we’ll go all the way,” he said.

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