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Top 10 Most Famous Volleyball Players In India

Know About Top 10 Most Famous Volleyball Players In India
Top 10 Most Famous Volleyball Players In India

India saw a notable increase in the popularity of volleyball, particularly after the sport was added to the schedule of the 1987 South Asian Federation Games (SAF) in Kolkata. When the Indian volleyball team won the gold medal in the Colombo Games in 1991, the sport's notoriety increased even more.

Volleyball was first created in Massachusetts, USA, in 1895 by William G. Morgan. In the early 1900s, the British brought the sport to India.If you are volleyball enthusiast person, then this article is only for you. The sport began as a pastime for British officers and troops and eventually gained popularity among Indians. India's experience in international volleyball began in 1951 with the foundation of the country's first volleyball squad and its participation in the first Asian Games in New Delhi.

Let's look at the top 10  volleyball players who have left an indelible mark with their talents.

1. Jimmy George

Remembering Jimmy George – The man who rose higher than everyone

Jimmy George is often hailed as one of the greatest volleyball players in Indian history. Born on March 8, 1955, in the Kannur district of Kerala, George made a name for himself with his exceptional skills and sportsmanship. He became the youngest volleyball player to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award at the age of 21 in 1976. Throughout his career, George won numerous accolades, including the G.V. Raja Award and the Manorama Award for the best sportsman in Kerala. He also shone internationally, being named the Best Player while playing for Abu Dhabi Sports Club from 1979 to 1982. Tragically, George's life was cut short in a car accident in Italy on November 30, 1987. His legacy lives on through the Jimmy George Foundation, which instituted the Jimmy George Award in 1989 to honor the best sportsperson in Kerala.

2. A. Palanisamy

Chennai Blitz | A. Palanisamy represented the country in the Asian Games in  early 60's. He hailed from Kallampatti near Melur, Madurai district, Tamil  Na... | Instagram

A. Palanisamy, known for his fierce playing style, represented India in the Asian Games during the early 1960s. Born in 1932 in Tamil Nadu, he earned the nickname 'Black Panther' for his aggressive attacks during the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. Palanisamy was the first volleyball player to win the Arjuna Award. After a stellar playing career, he transitioned into coaching, significantly contributing to the sport until his passing on November 12, 2007.

3. Cyril Vellore

Cyril C. Valloor of Southern Railway receiving the trophy from the Finance  Minister of Kerala,... | The Hindu Images

Cyril Vellore is a prominent name in Indian volleyball, having captained the national team to a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. Vellore's leadership and skill on the court earned him the Arjuna Award the same year. His successful partnership with volleyball legend Jimmy George during the 1980s made the Indian team a formidable force.

4. Balwant Singh Sagwal

Balwant Singh Sagwal, born in 1945 in Haryana, was a key figure in Indian volleyball during the 1960s and 1970s. He played a significant role in the success of Punjab's volleyball team, leading them to numerous national titles. In recognition of his contributions, Sagwal received the Arjuna Award in 1972. He passed away on November 14, 2010, leaving behind a legacy that includes a volleyball academy in Kaul.

5. Abdul Basith

Abdul Basith, born in 1959, served as the captain of the Indian volleyball team from 1986 to 1989. He was instrumental in securing a bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. Known for his sportsmanship and physical prowess, Basith was honored with the Arjuna Award in 1989. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1991 at the young age of 32.

6. Karthik Madhu

Karthik Madhu, a national volleyball player from Karnataka, captains the Kochi Blue Spikers in the Pro Volleyball League (PVL). He began his volleyball journey with the Sports Authority of India and made his debut for the national team at the 2016 South Asian Games, where India won the gold medal.

7. Nirmal Kaur Saini

Nirmal Kaur Saini was a former captain of the Indian women's volleyball team and an accomplished player. Married to legendary athlete Milkha Singh and mother to golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, she led India to a bronze medal in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul and a gold medal at the South Asian Games in 1985. In 2021, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to sports. She passed away on June 13, 2021, at the age of 82.

8. Ashwal Rai

Ashwal Rai is a current star in Indian volleyball, captaining the Kolkata Thunderbolts in the PVL. His impressive performance in the inaugural season, scoring 57 attack points and 12 successful blocks, has cemented his reputation as one of the top players in the league.

9. Ramavtar Singh Jakhar

Mr. Ramavtar... - District Volleyball Association Allahabad | Facebook

Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, hailing from Rajasthan, is a former volleyball player and current chairperson of the Volleyball Federation of India. His contributions to the sport have been recognized with the Aravali Award in 1991 and the Maharana Pratap Award in 1992.

10. Muthusamy Appavu

Muthusamy Appavu is another notable name in Indian volleyball. His dedication and skill have made significant contributions to the sport, though details about his specific achievements are less documented compared to the other players on this list.

These players have not only brought glory to Indian volleyball but have also inspired countless young athletes to pursue the sport. Their legacies continue to influence the game in India, setting benchmarks for future generations.