ICC, ACC representatives satisfied

KATHMANDU: The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) representatives were satisfied with the facilities available in Kathmandu to host an ICC event.

ICC Development Events Manager Andrew Faichney said the venues the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had proposed to host the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division-V Cricket Tournament were up to the standards.

“We have made some suggestions to CAN and once the ‘operations’ are over, the venues will be ready to host an ICC event,” said Faichney at a press meet.

Fiachney along with ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura inspected the three venues — TU Stadium (Kathmandu), Engineering College (Lalitpur) and Birendra Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya (Bhaktapur) grounds — and met Youth and Sports Minister Ganesh Nepali and National Sports Council Member Secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha on Sunday and Monday.

This is the first time Nepal has been nominated as the host country of an ICC event. “Nepal has successfully hosted the ACC events in the past and I hope this ICC event is going to be a high success,” said Fiachney. Nepal is one of the leaders in terms of crowd and media coverage in cricket. “We are organising this event in Nepal because of the exposure and love of the people for cricket in the country,” he added.

In all, six teams — Nepal, Fiji, US, Jersey and top two teams from the Division-VI tournament will take part in the tournament slated for January next year. The Division-VI tournament is slated for Singapore in October. Nepal last year travelled to Jersey to play the Division-V tournament where they lost to Afghanistan in the semi-finals. Jersey, being finalists of that event, got promotion but failed to stay and were relegated the same year.

“It’s important for the ICC to settle things before holding any event as facilities are important parts of the game. With seven months remaining the CAN should be prepared well for the event,” said Fiachney.

ACC Development Manager Warnapura also emphasised on need of proper facilities. “As we all know the association here does not have its own grounds, the temporary facilities built by CAN will be enough for the ICC event,” said Warnapura. “We will be observing and assisting CAN to prepare for the event,” added the former Sri Lankan Test skipper. Warnapura also said CAN would have all its own facilities in near future.

CAN President Binay Raj Pandey said the association was eying beyond Asia this time. “We have hosted lots of ACC events successfully and this time around we are going beyond Asia,” said Pandey. “Huge crowd here in Nepal is the positive part for us,” he added. The international representatives were mostly concerned of the security arrangements, crowd management, proper toilets and media facilities, informed Pandey.