Ruslan Cup T20 cricket tourney from Tuesday

Lalitpur, January 6

Kathmandu Cricket Training Centre, run by national team vice-captain Gyanendra Malla, is organising the second Ruslan Cup Twenty20 Cricket Tournament at the Tribhuvan University Stadium in Kirtipur from January 10-17.

A total of 16 teams will compete in the knock out tournament to be played under Twenty20 format, informed the organisers at a press meet today.

Defending champions Nepal Police Club, last year’s runners-up Tribhuvan Army Club, Nepal APF Club, hosts Ruslan KCTC, Kathmadu-based PC Fighter-XI, Himalayan Cricket Academy, Royal PC Fighter, New Rising Star, Kuleshwor Cricket Club, Nepali Rhinos, Himalayan White House College and Nepal Cricket School as well as Anubhuti Education Foundation of Birgunj, SPA of Dhangadi, New Horizon Cricket Club of Bhairahawa and Khahare Cricket Club of Dhading will compete in the tournament.

The participating teams will be divided into two groups, with last year’s finalists having been drawn in different pools. “The participating teams will cover players from all over the country as we have three departmental sides, three other teams from Kathmandu and four from out of the valley,” said Malla.

The national team vice-captain said organising longer version of the game was a challenge.

“We definitely want to organise 50-over and two-day tournaments but it is very difficult to lure sponsors for longer version events,” said Malla.

The top two teams of the tournament will receive Rs 300,000 and Rs 200,000 respectively. The organisers increased Rs 100,000 for both the winners and runners-up. Similarly, the two losing semi-finalists will get Rs 25,000 each, while teams will get a bonus of Rs 5,000 for winning a match up to quarter-finals.

The-man-of-the-series will get two-way flight tickets for Bangkok from Thai Airways, while the best batsman and bowler will be awarded with Buddha Air Mountain flight tickets. The tournament is supported by Cricket Association of Nepal and Nepal Sports Journalists Forum.

The organisers have set aside trophies and gift hampers for man-of-the-match, rising player (U-19), century, hat-trick, five- wicket haul, fastest fifty and Babaal catch.

A separate challenge for spectators will be held on the sidelines of the tournament, while the fans can also take part in selfie challenge event. Malla said the estimated budget of the tournament is Rs 1.8 million and the main sponsor of the tournament, Ruslan Cricket will bear all the cost. “Ruslan Cricket is taking care of the costs of the tournament,” said Malla, who is also the brand ambassador of Ruslan Cricket.

Chief Brand Officer at Jawalakhel Group of Companies Sushil Prasad Shrestha said they are new in the cricket and will consider about other formats of the sport in future.

“Currently we are in learning phase in this sport and will focus on T20 format for a couple of years. But we will definitely consider about other formats in future,” said Shrestha.