Asian Premier League launched

Kathmandu, June 11

The Ultimate Sports Management is organising the Asian Premier League at the Tribhuvan University Stadium from June 19 to July 4.

A total of six franchise-based teams, including Nepal Storms, will participate in the tournament but the Nepali players are totally unaware of the event. Former Sri Lanka skipper Tillakratne Dilshan will lead the Indian Stars, while Ajay Ratra of India is the mentor of the team, informed the India-based company during the launching programme of the event. Chief Patron of the ASL Swami Chinmayananda, who is the Vice-president of SantMahasabha, India launched the event.

Likewise, Swapnil Patil is the skipper of Nepal Storm with Dimitri Mascarenhus as the team mentor, while Abdul Shakoor of the UAE is the team captain of Dubai Warriors with Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe as the mentor. Al Amin Hossain of Bangladesh will lead the Bangladesh Tigers, while Justin Kemp of South Africa is the mentor of the team. Rana Naveed Hassan and Imran Nazir, both from Pakistan, are the captain and mentor of Afghanistan Bulls, while Farveez Maharoof of Sri Lanka will lead the Sri Lanka Lions with Rusty Theron of South Africa as the team mentor.

Chairman of ASL, RS Dandiwal said the event was shifted to Nepal at the last hour as per the suggestions of Chief Patron Swami Chinmayananda. “We had been planning for this event for the last one year and everything was confirmed for Sharjah in the UAE. But Swami Chinmayananda suggested us to organise the tournament in Kathmandu with the objective of helping the domestic players in Nepal and we brought the event here,” said Dandiwal. “We are thankful to National Sports Council of Nepal for providing us with the permission to organise such a huge event.”

Asked about the status of the Nepali players in the tournament, Dandiwal said it was up to the teams to pick players through auction. “We had an open registration and the selection panel has shortlisted 150 players for auction and the teams will pick 108 from among them. We will be happy if the teams pick 108 Nepali players in their squads.”

Dandiwal, however, declined to disclose the number of Nepali players selected for the auction. “I cannot disclose the details now as we are having an auction tomorrow,” he said. As per the tournament regulations, each team should have an international player, four state players, two from U-19 side and eight domestic rural area players. “We have already picked 12 iconic players — two each in all six teams as captains and mentors — and they will not go for auction. We have graded other players in three categories and the skippers and coaches will be responsible for selecting their team members.”

Nepal head coach Jagat Tamatta said the national team and U-19 players were unlikely to take part in the event in the absence of International Cricket Council approval. “We had asked them to bring the approval from the ICC but they failed. We cannot participate in the events which are not approved by the international governing body,” Tamatta added. National team vice-captain Gyenendra Malla said he was not aware of the event. “We don’t know anything about the tournament and I think no one has applied for the event.”

The six teams will play against each other in the round robin league before the top four making it to the semi-finals. The event carries a total cash purse of Rs 6.4 million with top three teams earning Rs four million, Rs 1.6m and Rs 800,000 respectively. The player of the series will receive a car.