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Jan 30, 2019

'Homecoming' for star blocker GS Akhin but as a Chennai Spartans player

~ Akhin confident of the league offering top-notch volleyball action for fans ~
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Kochi: GS Akhin is all set to make a comeback to his home turf but this time donning the jersey of Chennai Spartans. RuPay Pro Volleyball League which is scheduled to begin from February 2nd 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Kochi will see Chennai Spartans play their first match against Calicut Heroes on Feb 3rd 2019 where he will face his Kerala National teammate Jerome Vinith who will be playing for the Calicut Heroes.

“It will be a privilege to play in front of the Kerala fans. But Tamil Nadu is the state from where my volleyball journey started," said Akhin of his allegiance. The Indiainternational admitted that playing in Tamil Nadu improved his game. "Besides me there are a few other players from Kerala like KJ Kapil Dev and Vibin George who also have a lot of following in the state.” said Akhin about players from Kerala in his team.

The first season will see a total of 18 matches where each team will play against each other in a round robin format. The 18 matches are divided in two legs to be held in two cities - Kochi and Chennai. The first twelve matches will take place in Kochi while the remaining six matches, including the two semifinals and the final, is going to be held in Chennai.

Speaking on what volleyball means to his birth state of Kerala, Akhin felt that the state loves sports in general, “The special thing about Kerala is the culture of sports is developed from the time we are in school and that is why we see so many players from Kerala coming through in Volleyball,” added Akhin.

An ardent fan of M.S. Dhoni, Akhin is optimistic about the impact of the league with much-needed boost of professionalism. "I have experienced the same myself after joining Chennai Spartans and things will only improve as the league gets underway. I feel it will enable us all develop the level of commitment and dedication for the team,” said Akhin.

Talking about his team's composition Akhin felt it just has the right balance. “I feel we have a good blend of both experience and upcoming talent and we have two great foreign players in  Ruslan Sorokins from Latvia and Rudy Verhoeff from Canada, both of them are Olympians and will be key to our progress in the tournament.”

The inaugural edition of the league will see six franchises vying for the title. Ahmedabad Defenders is owned by Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd., Kerala's Calicut Heroes is owned by Beacon Sports while the Chennai Spartans is owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt. Ltd. U Mumba Volley is owned by U Sports, who also own a team in the Kabaddi league while Black Hawks Hyderabad is owned by Agile Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Thomas Muthoot owns the Kochi franchise called the Kochi Blue Spikers.

All the matches will be broadcasted live on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 and will be streamed live on Sony LIV.