Raj Kumar gets Australian call

Kathmandu, August 19:

Raj Kumar Pradhan, a member of Nepal’s national cricket team, has been invited by an Australian cricket club to play with them for the 2005-06 season. Raj Kumar Pradhan got the invitation from UTS Balmain Cricket Club after the off-spinner impressed a senior member of the Australian club during Nepal’s World Cup qualifying campaign in Malaysia earlier this year.

“A senior member of our club, Neil Maxwell, was very impressed with you at the ICC tournament in Malaysia, and he advised us that we should look to assist your development through providing you access to an Australian cricket season,” said the club’s general manager Peter Blanchard in a letter sent to Raj Kumar on August 17. Raj Kumar has been Nepal’s national team member since 2002 when he was called for the ACC Trophy 2002 held in Singapore. Known as Shane Warne of Nepal for his bowling action that is similar to the Australian great, he was the highest wicket-taker in the last year’s national league with 15 victims. “On behalf of the club, I would like to formally invite you to play this season — which commences in mod-September and ends in late March — with us,” he added. The letter further added: “The club could arrange accommodation and assist with part-time work to help cover expenses. You would be coached by some of the best coaches in Australia.”