From AZ Aamir
Pakistan is expected to launch a professional volleyball league next year. Initially the plan was to conduct the historic event this year but the COVID-19 pandemic obstructed the way of Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) to go for the ambitious project. It is expected that the league would completely alter the things for the country’s volleyball which has been progressing gradually.
Let’s ask Pakistan volleyball team captain Aimal Khan and he will tell you how important is the league.
“It’s start is absolutely necessary,” Aimal told thecricketplus.com in an exclusive interview from Swat. “Once it is started, the doors will keep open for bringing further improvements. But lets start it,” Aimal stressed.
“The most important thing about the league is that it should be launched on professional footings. The players should get the boost and they should be rewarded as per their standard and quality,” Aimal said.
“The contract with the sponsors should be long-term as it is very important if you want to develop the league in future. India in 2018 launched its pro league in which cream of the world took part. But it was unfortunate that when we beat them in the Asian Games in 2018 in Indonesia they abolished that project because they thought that their effort to invest in the game proved futile as they lost to Pakistan. This is not the way the things are managed. It discourages the players,” said Aimal, also a professional player having played leagues in various countries.
“It would be a game changer if launched and promoted. You know it will carry foreign coaches and foreign players and I believe that it would lift the standard of the game 70 percent within short time,” said Aimal who recently was declared as the best spiker of Thailand Volleyball League.
“The big positive would be that it would be a sort of platform for upcoming youngsters to impress and it would be a huge boost for the country,” Aimal said.
“You know in Swat and Bannu there is a huge craze of volleyball but the big issue is lack of indoor halls. League matches should be arranged in those areas which are crowd-puller. Peshawar is also an ideal place for matches. Sialkot is also important as it is producing good stuff,” Aimal said.
“In Thailand especially the Super Cup matches are held in the crowd-pulling areas where there is a huge craze of volleyball and we should also take this thing into consideration while going for the league,” Aimal said. “The organisers can also charge the spectators and I believe people love the game and they will purchase the tickets and this will help the federation generate revenue,” Aimal said.
Aimal said that league would improve soft image of the country.
“Pakistan is now a more peaceful country and sporting events are returning with foreign teams coming here. If we bring in foreign players and engage foreign coaches for three to four months during the league it would further boost the image of the country,” Aimal signed off.