The 21st edition of the competition will take place in Japan from 12th to 19th September.

The Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) has announced a 24-man provisional squad for the upcoming Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship. This will be the 21st edition of the continental competition. It will take place from 12th to 19th September in Japan.

The players were selected based on their performance at the Senior National Volleyball Championship. It took place at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from 5th to 11th March. The players are now all set to join the Indian coaching camp, in a bid to make the cut for the final squad.

India will be one of the 11 teams, who will be in action in Japan. Matches will take place across two different venues – Chiba Port Arena and Funabashi Arena.

Star names included

The Indian national volleyball team coach G.E. Sridharan will have some big names at his disposal. Several members of the squad were a part of Chennai Spartans, the champions of the inaugural season of the Pro Volleyball League in 2019. The squad includes the likes of Jerome Vinith and C.S. Akhin, the finest players from Kerala. It also contains Ashwin Raj from Tamil Nadu, one of the standout performers in the Khelo India Youth Games in 2019.

U-23 Asian Championship silver-medalist Himanshu Tyagi from Uttarakhand and Odisha’s rising star Rahul Barik will bring a youthful exuberance to the squad. Vinit Kumar is one of the experienced names in the squad.

He has already represented India in several tournaments like the 2016 South Asian Games, 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Asian Championship. In addition, Kumar was the captain of the Indian team in the Tokyo Olympics Volleyball Qualifiers. Not to forget the talented Saqlain Tariq, the first player from Jammu & Kashmir to represent India in any age-group.

Previous performances

This will be India’s 18th appearance at the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship. The team are currently ranked 77th in the FIVB World Rankings. In the previous edition in 2019, India managed to reach the quarterfinals. However, they suffered a 1-3 loss to South Korea.

The nation’s best performance in the continental competition came in the year 2005. Held in Suphan Buri in Thailand, India managed to make it through to the semi-finals on that occasion.

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