Everest Premier League: Skippers expect tough battle

- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Dec 7, 2018-

The much-hyped Everest Premier League begins from Saturday at the Tribhuvan University Stadium when Paras Khadka-led Biratnagar Warriors will take on Gyanendra Malla’s Lalitpur Patriots. The city-based franchise Twenty20 competition is into its third edition and has become even bigger with the inclusion of some of the big names in Associate cricket. Organiser EPL Pvt Ltd on Thursday unveiled the EPL trophy amidst a programme in Kathmandu. Captains of the six franchises also talked about their teams and what the tournament will be able to do in the development of cricket in the long run. Here is an excerpt of what the captains had to say:    

Paras Khadka (Biratnagar Warriors) 

When the tournament starts on Saturday every team is going to be equally good. We have a couple of very big names who have done well at international level. For us as cricketers its fantastic because for a Nepali cricketer it’s a dream to bring these international players here. I would probably say EPL is probably a start of something very big because it has initiated in bringing in some of the best Associate countries in the world. We are hopeful that it grows bigger and we will be able to bring players from Test countries. This is exciting time for Nepali cricket. We are looking forward to it.

Gyanendra Malla (Laltipur Patriots)

More than the name, players are always recognised by their work. The players that we have for this season, including the foreign names, are capable to do the job for us. Hopefully, they will be able to perform according to their potential. It is going to be a new beginning for us and hope we can do well and make it to the final and win the tournament. Its good to see big names coming in from across the world because it is going to be a good learning opportunity for the players.  

Prithu Baskota (Chitwan Tigers)

The team is very young. The players have performed well at different international age-group and domestic tournaments. Hopefully, everyone is going to play very well. Last time we didn’t have good outing and now we want to do better this time. We just want to have a best start. The boys are pumped up with the inclusion of some experienced County cricketers.

Sompal Kami (Kathmandu Kings XI)

Our team has been well set up. The addition of experienced Kevin (Irish international Kevin O’Brien) has made the team stronger. He has been sharing his experience with other players and this has helped us gell together very well. We are eagerly looking forward to the tournament. The guys have been given responsibility and I hope they will fulfil it in the best possible way. 

Sharad Vesawkar (Bhairahawa)

We have a good team. The foreign players are also good and the presence of experienced player (Ryan ten Doeschate) is going to be very crucial for us. Ryan has played cricket across the world and has been an Indian Premier League champion as well. This is an opportunity for us to learn as well as for them. All the teams have equally good foreign players and this will make the tournament more competitive. Hopefully, we can do better this time by winning the title.

Kyle Coetzer (Pokhara Rhinos)

It’s a huge honour for me to come to this special country where people are very passionate towards cricket. This is something that you don’t get in many places in the world. Our team has been together now for a few days and the coaching has been reasonably well. The ground looks like its going to be a very special arena. I have heard a lot about a strong fan base in Nepal and I am now looking forward to play in front of them.

Published: 07-12-2018 09:31

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