Marquees, team owners unveiled

  • The eight-day event offers Rs 1 million to champions
- ADARSHA DHAKAL, Kathmandu

Mar 19, 2019-

NCL Sports Pvt Ltd on Monday unveiled the teams, marquee players and owners of the NCL Women’s Twenty20 Cricket League set for April 20-27 in Biratnagar.

The tournament is one of the first two franchise cricket tournaments introduced for women and will hold auction of the cricketers. All the matches will be played at the Baijnathpur cricket ground in Biratnagar. Originally scheduled to be held from March 15-23 it had to be pushed back as it coincided with the eighth National Games in Nepalgunj.

Biratnagar Roaring Lioness, Bhairahawa Queens, Dhangadhi Wonder Women and Kathmandu Super Champions are the teams participating in the tournament. National women’s team skipper Rubina Chhetri, her deputy Sita Rana Magar, former skipper Nary Thapa and Karuna Bhandari are the four marquee players.

The four marquee players went to the teams after a lucky draw at the programme in Kathmandu on Monday. Chhetri went to Queens, Rana Magar will be leading Wonder Woman, Nary Thapa will play Super Champions and Bhandari will represent the Roaring Lioness franchise.

Actor Rekha Thapa owns the Super Champions. Thapa said she gave a green signal to own a franchise right from the word go. “When I was approached for the first time and came to know that the tournament was for women, I said ‘yes’ without any hesitation. I was very excited. This tournament is for all our daughters and sisters,” said Thapa. Anup Saxena (Roaring Lioness), Anil Bhandari and Deepak Subedi (Queens) and Hari Khanal (Wonder Women) are the other owners the franchises.

The auction of the cricketers, who are divided into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories, will be held in a due course, informed tournament organiser Jay Raj Roy. The ‘A’ category players will have a base price of Rs 40,000 with the maximum bid limit set for Rs 75,000. The bidding for ‘B’ category begins from Rs 25,000 and will be limited to Rs 50,000. The ‘C’ category bidding will starts from Rs 15,000 and cannot exceed Rs 25,000.

The champions will receive Rs 1 million—the highest cash prize ever in Nepal’s domestic women’s cricket tournament—and the runners-up will get Rs 500,000. National cricket team skipper Chhetri was excited to get a franchise tournament of this magnitude. “Its great that we are finally playing a competitive cricket on home soil. The organisers have put in a lot of effort and we are very serious about the tournament and eager to prove ourselves to give a message that we equally deserve such exposure like the male cricketers,” said Chhetri who has often been vocal of not having a domestic event.

The marquee quartet have been representing Nepal for more than a decade with the last few years not fetching them even a single tournament on home thanks to an inefficient cricket administration and its suspension. While the men’s cricket now boasts three premier franchise leagues involving foreign cricketers, the Women’s Twenty20 Cricket League has come as a boon for them.

“Playing a competitive cricket tournament was a dream for us. The boys have been very busy all the time because they have several tournaments and now we will also have something that will keep us busy for a while,” said Rana Magar.

Published: 19-03-2019 10:54

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