Photo Courtesy: NSC Skippers of the participating teams of the first edition of the Prime Minister Cup One-Day National Cricket Tournament (from left) Binod Bhandari, Manjeet Shrestha, Surendra Chand, Subendu Pande, Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar unveil the jerseys of their respective teams in Kathmandu on Monday.
KATHMANDU, May 22: The first edition of the Prime Minister Cup One-Day National Cricket Tournament is set to begin on Tuesday with Tribhuvan Army Club and Eastern Region set to battle in the inaugural match at the TU Cricket Ground.
Organizing a press meet in capital on Monday, organizer National Sports Council (NSC) informed that the preparation is over. The 50-over national tournament to be held first time in three years will feature a total of eight teams including five regional and three departmental sides.
The participating teams are divided into two groups with Group A consisting Armed Police Force (APF), Central Region, Mid-western Region and Western Region. Similarly Army, Nepal Police Club, Eastern Region and Far-western Region are drawn in Group B.
Meanwhile the skippers of the participating teams expressed their delight toward the tournament. “Organizing enough 50-over tournaments is the strongest way to help Nepali cricket reach the next level. We have to host more such tournaments which will benefit upcoming players to showcase their talents,” said APF's skipper Gyanendra Malla. He also said the cash prize of the tournament, which is highest in domestic cricket, is a message of Nepali cricket moving to professionalism. “Given the prizes (Rs 2 million for champion, Rs 1 million for runner-up) we can say Nepali cricket is slowly moving to professionalism, which is a very positive sign,” added Malla, who is also the founder of Kathmandu Cricket Training Center, an organization looking at the management of the tournament.
Similarly Sharad Vesawkar, who is leading Central Region in the team, said that organizing the 50-over tournament with big cash prizes is a positive sign for Nepali cricket even if it came late. “Such tournament with heavy cash prizes should be organized every year. Though it is being organized after many years it is a positive step,” said Vesawkar.
Likewise, Army's skipper Binod Bhandari said that this tournament is a great opportunity for his team as it has been preparing from long time. “We have been preparing for 50-over tournament since a long time so we are excited,” said Bhandari.
Meanwhile, national cricket team's head coach and technical head of the tournament Jagat Tamata said that this tournament will be taken also as players' selection for the national team for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Hong Kong.
Player-of-the-series will be awarded with Rs 100,000 while the best batsman and bowler will take home Rs 50,000 each. Emerging player will be awarded with Rs 25,000 while man-of the-match will be given Rs 5000.