Lamichhane, Sheikh sold bigLeg spinning sensation Sandeep Lamichhane, allrounders Aarif Sheikh and Karan KC along with hard-hitting batsman Binod Bhandari drew highest sum in the auction of the Everest Premier League (EPL) Twenty20 League on Sunday.
Leg spinning sensation Sandeep Lamichhane, allrounders Aarif Sheikh and Karan KC along with hard-hitting batsman Binod Bhandari drew highest sum in the auction of the Everest Premier League (EPL) Twenty20 League on Sunday.
A total of 160 players had registered for the tournament before EPL’s technical committee shortlisted 90 cricketers for the auction. Leg-spinner Lamichhane, Bhandari and Sheikh went to their respective teams through lottery after all franchise owners and marquee players raised the flag with maximum bidding amount of Rs 175,000.
While Lamichhane went to Lalitpur Patriots, Bhandari was sold to Pokhara Rhinos and Bhairahawa Gladiators got Sheikh. Fast bowling allrounder KC was sold for Rs 175,000 to Biratnagar Warriors that also bought national team veteran Basanta Regmi for Rs 160,000. Regmi became the joint second highest earner with Gladiators also getting hold of Pradeep Airee for the same amount.
Chitwan Tigers, whose highest buy was former U-19 captain Prithu Baskota for Rs 140,000, and Kathmandu Kings XI are other two teams in the tournament. The franchises had a total purse amount of one million rupees. Tigers were the lesser spenders, saving Rs 80,000 from their purse. The biggest buy for Kings XI was Sagar Pun, the national team allrounder was sold for Rs 150,000.
The registered players were divided into three categories in terms of their playing experience in the national and international cricket. The Category ‘A’ players must possess experience of playing with senior national team for three years with their base price beginning from Rs 100,000. Category ‘B’ players represented Nepal at the age-group tournament or have played for senior team in at least three international events.
The ‘C’ Category players needed to be playing national tournaments for at least five years. Sheikh, who made his debut for the national team with the 2014 ACC Premier League, along with Lamichanne and Rajesh Pulami Magar were upgraded to Category ‘A’ considering their on-field performance since hitting the national team spot. Lamichhane has cemented his place in the national team after making his debut in the ICC World Cricket League Championship home matches against Namibia last year.
“We felt that good cricketing talents need to be motivated. So we reviewed our decision to put them in ‘B’ category,” said former national team skipper Binod Das who is the technical director of EPL Twenty20. Each team can keep maximum five players from Category ‘A’, four from ‘B’ and fulfil the required number from Category ‘C’.
Organisers EPL Pvt Ltd have made the inclusion of three international recruit mandatory, while one player need to be picked up through the talent hunt. A marquee player will complete the final 15-member squad of each team.
Sharad Vesawkar (Gladiators), Paras Khadka (Warriors), Dipendra Airee (Tigers), Sompal Kami (Kings XI), Gyanendra Malla (Patriots) and Shakti Gauchan (Rhinos) are the six marquee players unveiled previously.
The marquee players have a base price of Rs 200,000 and their final amount will depend on negotiations with the team owners. Kishor Maharjan, the owner of Patriots, was excited to be a part of the auction and tournament as a whole. “The growth of EPL is one of the most important things that has happened to Nepali cricket. It will take time to match other lucrative Twenty20 leagues of the world but how it has been established is quite praiseworthy,” he said.
EPL Pvt Ltd Managing Director Aamir Akhtar confirmed that the tournament will see players from foreign countries. “We have promised that this tournament will see participation of international players and we will reveal the details about it in due course,” added Akhtar.