Dhangadhi, February 9
Dhangadhi Cricket Academy honoured former national cricket team skipper Pawan Agrawal and coach Sunoj Bhattarai during the opening ceremony of the Ruslan Dhangadhi Premier League here today.
Agrawal received the Dhangadhi Cricket Award, while Bhattarai got the Arjun Khadka Memorial Award. Chief Minister of Far-west Province Trilochan Bhatta and DCA President Subash Bahadur Shahi handed over felicitation letters and Rs 100,000 each to Agrawal and Bhattarai.
Agrawal, who made the national team debut in 1996 and was part of the team for six years, was named the skipper in 2000 for the United Arab Emirates tour. He donated the prize money to Dream Fapla Project. “The money belonged to cricket and I donated for the cause of cricket,” said Agrawal. The former skipper also lauded the efforts of the DCA. “These people have been working really hard to run the cricketing activities in Far-west and I am well aware that the DCA is not a well off organisation. So, I decided to make a small contribution from my side in their dream of constructing an international stadium in Fapla,” he added.
Bhattarai was the coach of Nepal national team that participated in the first international tournament in 1996 — the ACC Trophy in Malaysia. Bhattarai thanked the DCA for the honour. “I am extremely happy and grateful to the organisers for remembering me and my contributions in cricket,” he said. Bhattarai, who works at the National Sports Council as cricket coach, was also the coach of the Nepali team that qualified for the first-ever U-19 World Cup in 1999.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhatta and other officials inaugurated the third edition of the Ruslan DPL which will be played at the proposed Fapla International Stadium. Bhatta said the province government would seriously work on the completing the Dream Fapla Project and also support the DPL. “We will take this project as the pride of the province,” said Bhatta.
The tournament, which was postponed for two days due to adverse weather condition, will begin on Monday. Dhangadhi Stars will take on Biratnagar Kings in the opening match. A total of six city-based franchise teams are participating in the tournament.
The teams will play against each other in the league round and top four will make it to the playoffs. Top two will fight in Qualifier1 for a place in the final, while other two will meet in the Eliminator. The winners of eliminator will face the losing team of Qualifier1 to decide the second team in final. The final is slated for February 23.
DCA has announced the prize money of three million rupees to the winners of the tournament making it the biggest cricketing event in terms of prize money. The runners-up will get Rs 1.2 million, while the third and fourth placed teams will earn Rs 400,000 and Rs 200,000 respectively. Likewise, the most valuable player will be awarded with Gokden Spike Shoe from Gold Star, one of the partners of the tournament. Man-of-the-match award winning player in every game will receive Rs 15,000.
A version of this article appears in print on February 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.