From our correspondent
KARACHI: Pakistan volleyball team skipper Aimal Khan on Wednesday said that the country’s volleyball needs a major sponsor.
“A big sponsor is absolutely necessary for Pakistan volleyball,” Aimal told thecricketplus.com in an interview from Thailand on Wednesday.
“Look, cricket is being sponsored by Pepsi. In the same way volleyball also needs a big sponsor as without that the things will be too tough to maintain,” Aimal said.
Following the retirement of former Pakistan captain Naseer Ahmed, Aimal has been leading Pakistan team and so far the outfit has been performing quite well in international circuit.
Last year in the Asian Championship in Tehran Pakistan finished seventh after beating India to qualify for the Olympic qualifiers. However the nation failed to avail of that golden opportunity due to financial issues.
Volleyball has been struggling due to no major financial input from the state for the last few years.
“It is a fact that Pakistan’s volleyball is alive because of untiring efforts from the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob. But how long he will keep the game alive alone as you know a single international tour costs the federation around Rs5million or so,” the spiker said.
Aimal was the top scorer of the last Asian Championship in Iran with Murad emerging second on the high-scorers chart.
Aimal said volleyball has been fairly competitive game, adding it requires more attention.
“Right from your equipment to diet everything is needed systematically,” Aimal said.
“It would be of great help if corporate sector owns volleyball in which we have enormous talent. Our current team is one of the best units the country has ever produced. If the same brigade is groomed and trained properly it would turn out to be a superb side,” Aimal said.
He said that Pakistan also direly needs professional league.
“League is indispensable for promotion of the game,” said the spiker.
Pakistan team has been transformed into a fighting unit by the former Iranian coach Hamid Movahedi who served for two years.
He taught the brigade modern volleyball and this was a huge service.
Later Korean coach had a brief stint with the team that played well in the last few events.
Aimal said that foreign leagues have instilled a new life in the country’s volleyball.
“You know Navy’s Mubashir, I myself, Waseem and Murad play in foreign leagues. Although Pakistan is financially weak but in foreign leagues we are offered handsome money by the clubs and this motivates all players. Everyone individually undergoes tight training and keep themselves ready and this benefits the national team also,” Aimal said.
Aimal plays in Thailand League along with Mohammad Waseem. Murad recently returned from Oman where he was representing Sohar Club in the Oman League.