Gladiators rope in DassanayakeThe former coach of Nepal only resigned as the US coach in July.
Bhairahawa Gladiators on Tuesday announced the signing of former Nepali national team coach Pubudu Dassanayake as the head coach for this season’s Everest Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
The six-team—barring new addition of teams this time—franchise cricket is scheduled for February 29 to March 14 at the Tribhuvan University Stadium. National team allrounder Sharad Vesawkar has been leading the team so far in the tournament. “I am really excited about joining the Bhairahawa Gladiators’ side! Nepal has always been very close to my heart and I am thankful for this opportunity to be back here and contribute to Nepali cricket in whichever way I can!” Dassanayake was quoted as saying by the Gladiators.
Dassanayake left the Nepal job in October 2015 having led the team to new heights during his four-year tenure. The former Sri Lankan international lived up to his promise by guiding Nepal to the 2014 ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh—the first ever participation by Nepal in ICC World Cup and the only one till date. He joined the US cricket team in 2016 by left the job in July this year.
“In an attempt to further add value to the Gladiators side and help the players deliver to the best of their abilities, we are honoured to announce the recruitment of Pubudu Dassanayake as the head coach of the team for the 2020 season. The contract in for one year,” Gladiator said in a statement.
The tournament has set itself apart from rest of the T20 leagues of the country like Dhangadi Premier League and Pokhara Premier League largely due to its ability to draw international stars as well as efficient management. Ryan Ten Doeschate, Mohammad Naveed, Babar Hayat, Paul van Meekeren, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and Richard Levi were some of the big names to feature the time. Lalitpur Patriots are the defending champions.
Panchakanya Tej won the inaugural event before Biratnagar Warriors won the second. Apart from Patriots and Warriors, Chitwan Tigers, Kathmandu Kings XI, Pokhara Rhinos and Bhairahawa Gladiators completed the squads the last term. The organisers have scheduled matches spreading across three weekends in order to draw more crowds. The organisers have also made it mandatory for teams to include at least one international cricketer as Iconic Player. The Iconic Player must be from Test nations.