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CAN Announces Nepal Premier League Set for November-December

CAN Announces Nepal Premier League for November-December

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has officially announced that the Nepal Premier League will be held in November and December this year. This decision comes as a relief, ensuring the continuation of its franchise tournament after the Nepal T20 League was plagued by controversies, including match-fixing and payment issues.

A Fresh Start After Controversy

CAN President Chatur Bahadur Chand confirmed, “This will be a continuation of the Nepal T20 League.” The previous Nepal T20 League, managed by the Indian sports company Seven3Sports, took place from December 24, 2022, to January 11, 2023. However, the league faced significant challenges when spot-fixing allegations and player payment delays came to light, leading to the termination of Seven3Sports’ contract.

Spot-Fixing Scandal

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) found ten individuals, including four Nepalis and six foreigners, involved in spot-fixing. Nepali cricketers Mohammad Aadil Alam (Aadil Ansari) and Mehboob Alam were arrested. Aadil Alam, who played for the Janakpur Royals, participated in eight of the 12 matches during the tournament. Although the Kathmandu District Court later acquitted Aadil Alam, Mehboob Alam, and three others of the charges, the scandal cast a shadow over the league. CAN is now considering lifting Aadil Alam’s suspension, with a decision expected soon.

Disciplinary Actions in Women’s Cricket

In a separate incident, CAN suspended women’s cricket team member Apsari Begam for misconduct with the team manager and coach during a closed camp for the ACC Women’s T20 Asia Cup. As a result, Begam has been excluded from Nepal’s final 15-member squad for the Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, from July 19-28. CAN’s disciplinary committee will conduct a further investigation into the matter.

Sandeep Lamichhane Reinstated

In positive news, CAN has reinstated Sandeep Lamichhane in the central contract. Lamichhane, who was previously excluded due to rape allegations, had his suspension lifted in May after being cleared by the Patan High Court. He participated in two of Nepal’s four T20 World Cup matches in the West Indies, although he missed matches in the US due to visa issues. Lamichhane is now included in the Grade A category of the central contract, which will run until December 31, 2024. He joins other top players like Kushal Bhurtel, national captain Rohit Paudel, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Dipendra Singh Airee, and Aasif Sheikh, making him the 31st player in the CAN central contract.

Looking Forward

The announcement of the Nepal Premier League marks a significant step forward for Nepali cricket, promising a fresh start and an opportunity to rebuild its reputation. As the league prepares to kick off later this year, cricket enthusiasts across the country will be eagerly awaiting the return of high-quality, competitive cricket.