Pakistan clinch Central Asian Volleyball crown

By Abdul Mohi Shah
May 18, 2024
Pakistan squad pose for a picture after victory over Chinese Taipei during the 19th Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. — X/PVF_Official/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan spikers raised the level of their game to new heights, thumping Turkmenistan in four sets to win the Central Asian Volleyball League (CAVL) amid near to capacity Liaquat Gymnasium here Friday.


In what turned out to be an exciting title clash, Pakistan won 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 25-14. Pakistan’s aggression was their hallmark at the outset of the final. Barring a few early moments, Pakistan completely dominated the first two sets without putting in their best action. Usman Faryad and skipper Mura Jehan made real impact at the early stage with Zaheer also making his presence felt. Pakistan broke clear when the score was around 10-10 and they were seen dominating from there on winning the first two sets easily.

“Crowd support and some exceptional display by the Pakistan team did wonders early on in the game. The entire team played an exceptional game, managing to win courtesy of some powerful smashes and first time blocking,” Captain Murad Jehan told media later on.

It was in the third set that Turkmenistan staged a recovery courtesy to Bayramgeldi Veyisov’s serve and smashing abilities. Mekan Durdylyyev and captain Didar helped their team make recovery by winning the third set.

Pakistan, however, bounced back brilliantly as ace striker Aimal Khan came storming in to make life difficult for the tourists. Backed by a chanting crowd Pakistan broke clear in the fourth and were worthy winners at the end. Pakistan Head Coach Ruben Wolochin was excited to see his side winning the very first title under his coaching.

“Boys played brilliant volleyball, helping each other at crucial points. Winning the tournament is very good news for Pakistan ahead of the Nations Cup and later for other international events,” he said.

Ruben added that there were some weaknesses apparent that will be removed ahead of the upcoming international events. “Now Australians are due to arrive here within ten days. Exposure against them would further help the team to make progress,” Wolochin said. Pakistan captain Murad Jehan was also happy at the outcome.

“This exposure would further help us in playing and matching the best around. We are to play Australia next. They are one of the best teams around. Hopefully, exposure against Australia will further strengthen the team.”

Earlier in the day, Kyrgyzstan beat Sri Lanka to emerge as bronze medalist. Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ahsan Iqbal distributed the prizes amongst the winners and runners-up.

All those present on the occasion expressed their delight over the organization aspect and praised efforts put in by Pakistan volleyball Association Chairman Ch Mohammad Yaqoob and his team in making the event a real success.

In absence of a cooling system, the volleyball federation made their own arrangement, paying Rs300,000/day to keep the weather in gymnasium relatively cooler.