The third edition of Dhangadhi Premier League, which has played a key role in developing cricket in Nepal, is starting this Saturday. Like always, a lot is being talked about who will come out on top and what the fans can expect from the tournament.
Unlike the previous two tournaments, which were played at the SSP Cricket ground, tthe tournament moves to Dhangadhi Cricket Academy’s Phapla International Cricket Stadium this year.
The organisers of the tournament say that all preparation is complete and add that the grandstand, which can accommodate up to 6,000 fans is also ready. To ensure that all matches are entertaining, the ground staff have prepared five pitches for the tournament.
“Everything is ready and now we are excited and raring to go. We’re glad that the tournament will be held at the proposed Phalpa International Stadium this time, which we had always dreamed,” shares President of Dhangadhi Cricket Academy, Suwas Shahi.
This year, DPL organisers this year are also giving the fans a chance to win gift hampers and money. If anyone in the crowd pulls off a catch in the stand, s/he will be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 10,000. Similarly, a lucky winner among the ticket buyers will to win Rs 5,000.
Ticket prices for the group games are set at Rs 50. But the ticket rates for the playoffs and the final is set at Rs 70 and Rs 100 respectively.
The competition will see the same six teams fighting for the trophy. All teams have a mix of national and international players who will be looking to impress. But that said, national team captain Paras Khadka, citing personal reasons, has pulled out from the tournament.
Looking at the teams, one can’t point out a clear favourite as all teams look balanced. Here is a look at the team taking part in the tournament:
Dhangadhi Stars, previously known as Team Chauraha Dhangadhi, won both editions of the DPL. Led by pacer Sompal Kami, Dhangadhi will be looking to make it three in a row this year. The team include international players like Rohan Mustafa from the UAE and Sagar Trivedi from India, who will be looking to bolster the side.
Dhangadhi’s strength is its batting. They have players who have done well in domestic T20 leagues like Saurav Khanal, Sunil Dhamala, Raju Rijal, Amit Shrestha and Pawan Sarraf. However, when it comes to bowling, the team is heavily dependent on captain Kami.
Gyanendra Malla-led Kathmandu Goldens can be seen as an average team. Looking from the outside, the Goldens’ team do not seem to have a good batting line up. However, their bowlers can turn any game in their favour.
Coach Raju Basnet says that his team will be vying for the title. He feels that the team are composed as they have a lot of spin options in the form of Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Rasheed Khan. The batting, on the other hand, isn’t as great and the team will have to depend on runs from captain Gyanendra Malla and Indian player Gaurav Tamor.
Skippered by Karan KC, Biratnagar Kings have a lot of young players in their team. This will be KC’s first time leading a team. Kings’ batting looks strong with big hitters like Aarif Sheik, Rajesh Pulami and Hari Shankar Shah. ‘Forgotten’ Nepali cricketer Prithu Baskota will also be looking to play well in the tournament. The Kings will also look for inspiration from their left-arm spinner Avinash Yavad and left-handed batsman Shivakant Shukla who have played Ranji Trophy for Railways. Kings, whose bowling looks a bit weak, will have to bowl well if they have any chance at winning the tournament.
Mahendranagar United are another strong team as they have a host of players who have represented Nepal’s national team. The team will be captained by Sharad Vesawkar and have national team players like Aarif Sheik and Rohit Kumar Paudel. All these batsmen have the ability to win the match on their own. Mahendranagar also have the experienced Mohamad Naveed to call on when it comes to bowling.
The Challengers have a number of experienced players. Captained by spinner Basanta Regmi, the team have three more national team players in Binod Bhandari, Pradip Airee and Bhim Sarki. The Challengers also have the match winners like Babar Hayat who will be looking to impress again as will Pakistan’s Raza Ali Dar.
Captained by youngster Dipendra Singh Airee, Attariya’s batting and bowing is average. However, the team are full of players who have performed well in the PPL and EPL.
The team’s batting will depend on captain Airee and foreign players Jayakishan Kolswala and Sunny Patel. Sandeep Jora, who played well with the national team recently, will also be a key if CYC Attariya are to reach the playoffs. When it comes to bowing, they will be lead by Ram Naresh Giri who will be helped by Buwan Karki and Kamal Singh Airee.
Published on February 8th, Friday, 2019 1:46 PM