KATHMANDU, Oct 18: The government has awarded national cricketers Sompal Kami, Subash Khakurel and Jeetendra Mukhiya with their respective ‘Sukriti Padak’ on Thursday.
The government in 2015 had announced to honor five national cricketers with the civilian award for the performance in the 2014 ICC World T20 held in Bangladesh.
Shakti Gauchan and Sharad Vesawkar, who were also nominated for the prestigious award, are yet to receive medals.
The officials at the Home Ministry stated that the awards were distributed five years after the announcement was made due to the communication gap between the ministry and the representative sports body or the council.
The Cricket Association of Nepal was suspended by International Cricket Council for almost three years from 2016 to 2019 whereas the National Sports Council had seen Keshav Kumar Bista at the helms for the majority of the time period before being replaced by Ramesh Silwal earlier this year.
Nepal was the best of the three associate teams on display in Group A of the ICC World Twenty20.
Kami had registered the fastest delivery ever bowled by a Nepali fast bowler during the World Cup, and Mukhiya was compared to Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga by Pakistan commentator Rameez Raza for his pinpoint Yorkers during the tournament. Nepal’s bowlers did not bowl a single wide or no ball throughout the tournament. Nepal was also the only team to not concede 140 in an innings in the tournament.
Khakurel smashed a memorable first ever half-century for Nepali cricketer in T20I cricket to pull off a strong win against Afghanistan, its first since 2004 in any format.
Similarly, Shakti Gauchan, now retired, won the player of the match against Hong Kong, Nepal’s first ever T20I win. Vesawkar played key role in ICC World T20 Qualifiers helping Nepal qualify for the prestigious World Cup.