Winnipeg Hawks’ Nepali fast bowler Sompal Kami poses with the Global T20 Canada league trophy in Brampton, Canada on Monday. Rajan Shah/Republica
KATHMANDU, Aug 13: Nepal national cricket player Sompal Kami became the first-ever Nepali player to win an overseas franchise T20 cricket league after his team Winnipeg Hawks defeated Vancouver Knights in the final match of the Global T20 Canada League played at CAA Center cricket ground in Brampton, Canada, on Monday.
The winner was decided by Super Over after the teams tied on 192 runs each in their respective innings. Kami was not included in the playing XI but had made his debut during the group stage match against Brampton Wolves in which he conceded 33 runs from two overs and batted five deliveries to stay unbeaten on a run alongside his captain Jean Paul Duminy.
He was not featured in knock-out matches but stayed spirited with his involvement in the overseas league for the first time in his career. His contributions were limited to a substitute fielder whenever required.
“I loved it and enjoyed every moment as it came. I learned new things every day. I, like any player, would love to contribute for the team whenever and however they need me to,” said Kami in conversation with Republica.
He took the crucial catch, as a substitute, of Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi during the second qualifier match against Wolves which was described as ‘world-class’ by commentator and former Australia test player Dean Jones on air.
“First tournament, first final & first medal. Thank you Winnipeg Hawks for the opportunity and the invaluable experience I will take with me. #GT2019,” tweeted Kami after his team won the Canada and associate nation’s premier T20 cricket league.
He further shared that a meeting with his idol Dwayne Bravo, who was the member of his team, inspired him further in cricket. “He told me that batting, bowling or fielding is all about belief more than anything else.”
Similarly, his coach Lalchand Rajput, who led the support staff for India national cricket team during its ICC World T20 2007 trophy win, entrusted belief in his abilities and was overlooked for the knock-outs only because he did not want to alter the winning combination that eventually helped Hawks win the league.
“He showed immense belief in me. I missed the first two games of the season which was the reason I couldn’t fit into the scheme of things,” he added. “My coach said that one bad game doesn’t define a player and I will get my opportunities in future.”