HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: India’s World Cup winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni suggested Nepal to improve the infrastructure as he arrived here for a one a one-day visit today.
With his arrival following an invitation from the Embassy of India, Dhoni has become the first ever high profile visit to Nepal from a current captain of the ICC full-member nations. He is also the third Indian skipper to visit Nepal after the 1983 World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev (1999) and Sunil Gavaskar (2004) visited Nepal.
Speaking to media promptly after landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Dhoni said: “Nepal will have to slowly improve the infrastructure and become better as a team. Nepal should also come ahead in cricket as it will be very good to have one more team from the sub continent.” The skipper of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings, however, is little aware of Nepali cricket.
“I’ve heard about Nepali cricket but Indian cricketing calendar is too busy to really follow other nations playing cricket,” he said. Dhoni said his main-purpose of the visit was to promote cricket. “Being a cricketer, if I can promote cricket, that will be very great. In the sub continent cricket is very popular and that is the reason why I am here,” he added.
Dhoni also suggested Nepali youth to involve in sports. “Being a sports person, not only as a cricketer, I would like the youth of Nepal to get into some form of sports along with studies. Because these are the two dimensions that are important in life,” said the 2007 World Twenty20 winning captain. “Sports is something that earns a lot of good will for the country. I encourage the youth to come forward,” Dhoni added.
After his arrival at 9:15, Dhoni visited the Tribhuvan University Stadium in Kirtipur where he spent two hours. In Kirtipur, he interacted with the senior and U-19 national cricketers and signed autographs for fans. He later joined an interaction programme with officials from the Cricket Association of Nepal, fans and cricketers at the Hotel Yak & Yeti.
The CAN also appointed him as a good will ambassador of Nepali cricket during the interaction. Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayanta Prasad, CAN president Tanka Aangbuhang and general secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel among others addressed the programme. Dhoni will return home on Sunday morning after visiting Maiti Nepal and offering prayer at the Pashupatinath temple.