Kathmandu, May 24
The organisers and teams of the Everest Premier League have warned the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) that they will boycott all events held by CAN if it does not sanction EPL for its fifth season.
In a statement released on Monday, the organisers said all six franchises that are owned by the country’s leading corporate groups would be boycotting all sporting programmes CAN will hold from now onwards.
This comes after CAN announced the formation of the Nepal Premier League (NPL) which all but killed the EPL as the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not recognise more than one official franchise league in a country.
Chatur Bahadur Chand, CAN’s president, during the launch had said that there would not be another T20 tournament in the country.
This has left the organisers and owners of the EPL teams disappointed as both feel that they did a lot for Nepali cricket at a time when CAN was suspended by the ICC.
“We welcome CAN’s decision to hold an event like this, but we feel a tournament that’s been held for four years needs to continue,” says Amir Akhtar, the EPL founder. “We feel the players will benefit from having more than one competition.”
Owners of the teams also feel betrayed.
“We didn’t spend millions to earn immediate profit. We spent money because we love the sport and want to see it develop in the country,” says Kishor Maharjan, the owner of Lalitpur Patriots. Maharjan says he feels decisions like these will discourage people from investing in sports and its development.
Chitwan Tigers’ owner Kishor Bhattarai says CAN is being unfair to them and hints maybe politics had a role in this.
“Every time there is a change in leadership, things change. CAN didn’t even speak to us once before taking this decision and that is what is discouraging,” says Bhattarai.