PVL: Ashwal Rai to lead Kolkata Thunderbolts

Kolkata Thunderbolts’ chairman Pawan Kumar Patodia on Saturday announced Ashwal Rai as the teams captain for the first season of the Prime Volleyball League, which begins on February 5 in Hyderabad.

The tournament will witness seven franchises — Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes and Kolkata Thunderbolts — compete with each other, will be played at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium from February 5-27.

The Kolkata Thunderbolts Chairman Pawan Kumar Patodia also released the tag line — #KhelbeBanglaJitbeyBangla.

Speaking about being named captain of the Kolkata Thunderbolts, Ashwal said, “I am feeling really good about being given the responsibility of leading the Kolkata Thunderbolts team. The RuPay Prime Volleyball League is a big league and the tournament has provided a platform to many players. I would like to thank our owners Pawan Kumar Patodia and Vineet Bhandari for giving me this opportunity. We will try to win the competition. We have a good team and we are ready to compete in the tournament.”

The owners of the Kolkata Thunderbolts Pawan Kumar Patodia and Vineet Bhandari shared their thoughts about Ashwal being named the captain of their side.

“It was not an easy decision for us. We were looking for someone who has good fitness and Ashwal’s physical fitness is immaculate. Ashwal is a very good leader and he is the most passionate volleyball player. He is only born to play volleyball and I am sure he will give his best. I also hope that our Indian players learn a lot from the foreign players in our side,” said Pawan Kumar Patodia.

Whereas, Vineet said, “Our main expectation from Ashwal and the team is that they play their natural with best abilities in the tournament.”

“The RuPay Prime Volleyball League has provided an opportunity to all players to build their careers. The head coach (Sunny Joseph) has done a fantastic job in building the team and has inculcated discipline in the side. As team owners, we are only expecting discipline and teamwork.”

The Kolkata Thunderbolts head coach Sunny Joseph expressed that he is expecting great results from the team this season. “Ashwal is a terrific leader. Our main focus as a team will be unity. The team has to work together mentally and physically. We have prepared well for the tournament and all the players are cooperating well. The support staff and the management have provided excellent support. I am sure that we will do something special this season.”

The Kolkata Thunderbolts will take on Calicut Heroes in their first match of the season on February 7.

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