KATHMANDU, Nov 16: The Everest Premier League (EPL)’s second season has been sanctioned by the apex body of cricket International Cricket Council (ICC) after the necessary documents and the approval amount of USD 20,000 (NRs 27,50,000) was forwarded in advance.
ICC committed and assured that the money acquired as the sanctioning fee will solely be used in the development of Nepali Cricket according to official press release by the EPL. ICC has also forwarded the approval to all its member nations.
EPL was first T20 franchise cricket league sanctioned by ICC in 2017 when Biratnagar Warriors won the inaugural edition defeating Bhairahawa Gladiators in the final. New ICC regulations require ICC approval for domestic tournaments in countries where the cricket board is under suspension.
EPL also confirmed the participation of Middlesex’s English wicketkeeper batsman John Simpson, United Arab Emirates fast bowler Muhammad Naveed, Hong Kong skipper Babar Hayat, etc in the forthcoming marquee event in addition to already announced stars like Rohan Mustafa and Zimbabwean Test player Sikandar Raza.
The senior operations manager of ICC, Clive Hitchcock signed on the approval document further quoting that future approval will require additional conditions in ICC’s sole discretion as the approval is for current season only. "ICC has granted the approval bearing in mind the unique circumstances that currently exist within Nepal and because the league is in the interests of cricket in Nepal and the Nepalese Players in particular," said Hitchcock.
Similalry, the managing director of Zohra Sports Management, the organizers of EPL, Aamir Akhtar claimed that it will certainly provide extra boost to the event and provide much needed assurance to be involved in the mega franchise cricket event. "This is great news not just for EPL but also for the millions of fans and we are sure that with the support of ICC, EPL will reach greater heights. EPL would like to thank the fans, players, media and all stakeholders for their continued support. Let’s all work on making this tournament grander," said Akhtar promising the upcoming event to be of international standard.
EPL will commence on 8 December with final slated for 22nd December. Pokhara Rhinos, Chitwan Tigers, Kathmandu Kings XI and Lalitpur Patriots are other four teams participating in the event.