With the Indian Premier League 2020, the cricket world that had come to a halt because of the Covid-19 pandemic has revived. The resumption of this league gave the message that playing cricket would be possible even amid the pandemic if strict preventive measures are followed. Also, it raised questions regarding the fate of cricket leagues in Nepal.
There are three major cricket leagues in Nepal: Dhangadi Premier League (DPL), Everest Premier League (EPL), and Pokhara Premier League (PPL). All three are in limbo currently despite hundreds of thousands of rupees invested in them.
The DPL got postponed indefinitely. The EPL too was also deferred right before it was scheduled to start. The craze about West Indies batsman Chris Gayle coming to Nepal died with this decision, again due to the pandemic.
The PPL scheduled for October-November also has not shown any sign of starting anytime soon. Depending on the situation today, the organisers have been saying they cannot organise the league.
Because of the indefinite postponement of the events, all stakeholders from players to advertisers, and organisers all have been hit hard, says Dhangadhi Cricket Academy Chair Subas Shahi.
But, the Covid-19-hit organisers of the premier leagues have claimed that if the government gives permission to resume, they will find alternatives to organise the leagues here. The start of the IPL also gave a ray of hope for Nepali premier leagues.
Some experts are also suggesting organising the matches by adopting all safety precautions. They are of the view that the government’s directive to stop all sports activities citing the pandemic is unfair to the whole fraternity. They are also urging the Cricket Association of Nepal to schedule all such events in its calendar and create the favourable environment to organise them.