Republica Paras Khadka, Nepali cricket team captain, speaks about the T20 Cricket Tournament at a press conference at Hotel Annapurna at Kathmandu on Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, March 22: Nepal will host acclaimed cricketers of Sri Lanka in a three-match Twenty20 Cricket Series at the TU grounds, Kirtipur. The Nepali national cricket team represented by Gorkha Rhinos will vie against Lankan Lions consisting of current and former international cricketers of Sri Lanka. The tournament will be played from April 25 to May 1.
Organizing a press conference in the capital on Wednesday, Periwinkle Trade and Service Private Limited, an event management company, announced to host the tournament to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Nepal and Sri Lanka, the Test-playing side. The series will be played on April 27, 29 and May 1.
According to Dipesh Ghale, the CEO of Periwinkle, the Lankan Lions will be studded with six current national players and as many former internationals. The visiting side will be captained by former Sri Lanka international Aravinda De Silva. The home team will be captained by national cricket team captain Paras Khadka.
Legendary batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vass, Romesh Kaluwithrana, Upul Chandana and Kaushalya Weeraratne are the former cricketers to visit Nepal. Among them, De Silva, Jayasuriya, Upul Chandana and Romesh Kaluwithrana were the members of the 1996 World Cup-winning Sri Lankan squad.
Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Dilshan Munaweera, Farveez Maharoof, Sachithra Senanayake and Chamara Silva are the current members of the Sri Lankan national team to visit Nepal.
Rangana Herath is the current Test captain of Sri Lanka while Upul Tharanga is the limited overs captain.
Periwinkle will look after the management of the tournament while Cricket Association of Nepal will provide technical support.
According to Nepal's skipper Paras Khadka, Cricket Players Association of Nepal (CPAN) will take the initiative to form the cricket team and will be assisted by national team coach Jagat Tamata.
“The series will impart positive message to the international cricket fraternity given the visit of players from Test-playing nation," Paras said. “The tournament will also be a great opportunity for Nepali cricketers. It will be vital in giving exposure to Nepali players.”
Recalling that two former coaches of the national cricket team of Nepal were Sri Lankan, Paras said, “The series will also help in building a cordial relation between Nepal and Sri Lanka cricket.”
Periwinkle CEO Ghale said that the company had decided to host the series to provide platform to national cricketers to play competitive matches and contribute in enhancing performance level of the team.
“We also wish to provide international standard match exposure to local spectators at home ground,” he further added.
According to Ghale, Periwinkle will bear all the cost of the visiting team and the home team will also be given allowances.
Cricketers to be honored
Meanwhile, Periwinkle has declared to honor cricket figures of the country during the final day of the series.
The first captain of the national cricket team Uttam Karmacharya will be honored with lifetime achievement award.
Similarly, the first female cricket captain Nary Thapa, president of Cricket Association of Blind Nepal Pawan Ghimire will also be felicitated on the same occasion.
The male and female team captains of blind cricket teams Kritan Shrestha Duwal and Bhagwati Bhattarai along with the first ICC panel umpire of Nepal Buddhi Pradhan will also be honored.