National Cricket Captain Paras Khadka speaks during a press meet of Everest Premier League cricket tournament in the capital on Friday. ( Pratik Rayamajhi / Republica )
KATHMANDU, Sept 10: Zohra Sports Management (ZSM) on Friday announced new franchised-based T20 cricket tournament carrying total match fee of Rs 5.4 million for players. The tournament, Wai Wai Everest Premier League, is scheduled to be held at the Tribhuvan University ground, Kirtipur from September 24 to October 3.
Organizing a press conference in the capital on Monday, ZSM informed that the tournament will feature six teams owned by corporate houses and the event will be played in round-robin format. “Altogether 17 matches will be played under round-robin format for nine days,” Zohra's Managing Director Aamir Akhtra said.
Each team will be captained by a national player who will get Rs 20,000 per match.
Similarly, national player who has played at least 15 international matches will get Rs 15,000 per match. Players who have featured in the ICC U-19 World Cup will be given Rs 12,000 for each match and Rs 8000 has been fixed as the fees of players who have played in the regional cricket tournament.
The tournament came as replacement of Nepal Premier League (NPL) held some three years ago in Dhangadhi, by the same organizer. The NPL was supposed to hold events in three formats - T20, 50 over and two-day. But it could not conduct the tournament other than in T20 format after disputes with its partner Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN).
“NPL was something that we could not move forward with. A bit of modification was required for the tournament due to things that happened in the past six months in Nepali cricket,” Akhtar said hinting at the suspension of CAN.
Tej owned by Panchakanya Group will be captained by Sharad Veshwakar, Colors X Factors owned by Teletalk Pvt Ltd will have Gyanendra Malla as its captain, Vishal Group Warriors owned by Vishal Group will be skippered by Paras Khadka and Kantipur Gurkhas owned by Kantipur Publications will be captained by Basnat Regmi. Similarly, Jagdamba Rhinos owned by Shankhar Group will be captained by Shakti Guachan and Sagarmatha Legends owned by Ghorahi Cement will have Binod Bhandari as its skipper.
Speaking on the occasion, Akhtar said, “Nepali cricket is on the rise and is in need of more cricket to be played inside Nepal to rise further. Wai Wai EPL offers players' growth, earning decent match fees, promoting cricket to the next level and many more.”
National team skipper Paras said that the tournament would set a benchmark and give positive message about Nepali cricket at international level. “Nepali cricket needs such boost. We are going through turmoil and such tournament will give good message to the international community,” he said.
Nirvan Chaudhary, the managing director of Chaudhary Group said that the collective effort of the corporate houses will help for the growth of the game. “Private sector is supporting cricket because of its success and the sincere and hard work of players,” he said.
CG Foods Pvt Ltd of Chaudhary Group is the main sponsor of the tournament.