Team owners and marquee players for Pokhara Premier League announced

Published On: September 28, 2018 10:37 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 28: The Pokhara Premier League (PPL) has announced the marquee players and team owners for the first edition of the franchise tournament on Thursday. 

The Managing Director of the PPL Chhumbi Lama, speaking in a press meet in Kathmandu, said that they decided to organize the PPL as a number of domestic cricket tournaments are being organized in Nepal after the country secured the One Day International (ODI) status.

“After Nepal’s national cricket team secured the ODI status, many domestic cricket tournaments have been organized in Nepal. Therefore, we thought why not to organize one in Pokhara, which is a beautiful tourist city too,” said Lama. “Not only that, this tournament will also make a good impact in domestic cricket as it will help groom new and talented young cricketers.’’ 

He pointed out the possibility of developing famous tourist city Pokhara as a popular location to play cricket as well. PPL is an identification in itself and it will be helpful to organize domestic cricket tournaments in the city,’’ said Head Coach of Nepal’s national team Jagat Tamata. “It is also a big platform for young boys as they will get an opportunity to showcase their talents. It is also helpful for the national team as it will be easy to select players.’’ 

Six teams will participate in the tournament and the organizers informed that the date for auction is yet to be decided. 

Team owner of Chitwan Rhinos Rahul Mahara said he is excited to have national team captain Paras Khadka in his team and that the PPL is going to benefit Nepali cricket greatly. 

“In the current scenario, overall sports sector is in serious problems. But, cricket has spread optimism in the country and it is also helping us to get recognition in the world,’’ Mahara said, “PPL will also help in the development of the game.’’ 

Skipper Khadka expressed satisfaction over the organization of the PPL saying that new investments in various towns like Pokhara have been coming in which is going to help further develop Nepal’s domestic cricket. 

“There are six new different investments in this tournament and it is a new start for cricket. This is a tournament which can help us move forward in a professional setup,” Khadka added, “We had played a qualifier in Pokhara in the past and at the time we were so excited by the environment here.’’

Team owner of Biratnagar Titans and former cricketer Paras Luniya said that Nepal’s national team did well in securing the ODI status and that now it is time to work hard to become a Test playing nation. 

“The Nepali team did really well in getting the ODI status, but now it is time for us to become a Test playing nation. The players have done really well and they have sacrificed a lot of their times for cricket,” Luniya said. “The production of new players is very necessary and our first intention is to move cricket forward and I hope the league helps in doing just that.’’ 

However, his team’s marquee player and teen sensation Sandeep Lamichhane could not make it to the press meet because of his tight schedule. 

Likewise, Butwal Blasters’ team owner Ram Bahadur Bista said that the at last one team will win the tournament but the entire Nepali cricket will benefit from the tournament in the long run. 

“We can create a good team from Nepal in the international platform by it.’’ 

The marquee player of the team Sompal Kami said he was happy to be a part of the PPL. 

“I am very thankful to the entire team for making me the marquee player and I am happy to be associated with this team,’’ said Kami. 

“We have been playing a lot of games since achieving the ODI status. I want to thank the organizers as well for organizing the PPL and it feels happy to be a part of it.’’ 

Team owner of Pokhara Paltan Binayak Pokharel appreciated the organizers of the tournament as it helps in the development of Nepali cricket. 

“It is a milestone for all of us as we had set a camp here once and I felt of coming and playing here,’’ marquee player of the team Sarad Vesawakar said, “Pokhara was always known to be the football city, now it will also be known as the cricket city.”

Stating that the PPL will help Nepali cricket reach greater heights, team owner of Expert Dhangadhi Blues Sanjeev Sharma said he is hopeful in the tournament linking people through cricket.

Marquee player Dipendra Singh Airee expressed similar happiness for getting to represent his home town Dhangadhi. 

Marquee player and national team vice-captain Gyanendra Malla pointed out the possibility of developing Pokhara as a neutral and popular venue to organize national as well as international cricket matches. 

The tournament is set to start on October 26. 


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