By Nayak Paudel, Morang, Nov 27: The Annapurna Pathari Shanishchare Cricket Premier League which took place on September marked the beginning of commercial sporting events to encourage youths across the PathariShanishchare Municipality towards sports.
In a bid to increase the confidence among the players, the league´s organising committee had managed an auction programme where the participating clubs bought the players, from 10 wards of the municipality, who had filled the required enrolment forms. The players had then demonstrated their games in front of the participating clubs before the auction. The league was a first-of-its-kind to be organised at a local level.
The event was a major success and the players were happy for receiving such a stage to show their games and improve it with the experience they gained.
"Playing cricket is what makes me happy along with many other brothers and friends I know. We practice almost on a daily basis in a nearby school playground and even play with teams from the nearby areas sometimes. However, the recent league was a much greater platform which helped me and many others to improve our games and intensify our belief that sports can be a quality stage for us," said Sanam Dulal, a 20-year-old who played for the winning team – Royal Kings – in the league and was the Man of the Series.
The league truly was a stage for many like Sanam and the players have begun to train much harder for the league which is also expected to be organised in a continuous manner.
"The league was a great experience and it is expected that the league will be conducted regularly. I have begun to practice more and so have my other fellow players; we will improve our game because we believe that sports can be a career too," said Roman Budathoki, a wicket-keeper-batsman who played for Buddha United in the league.
Following the completion of the league, youths who played the league had also organised a small league of four teams for those below 18 years of age at Ward 4 of Pathari Shanishchare Municipality.
After the cricket league ended in a success, several adults, young businessmen and former players from the municipality took forth the step to organise a football league. It has been more than a month that the preparations have begun for the Pathari Shanishchare Football Premier League, which is expected to begin after two weeks.
"A proper stage is what required for players from ground level to improve and emerge but we have been lacking such stage throughout the country. The league is an initiation within a municipality expected to be followed by others in a more improved manner," said SanjibGiri, chairman at PathariShanishchareFootbal Premier League organising committee.
The football league organising committee had conducted an auction on November 12 where eight teams bought 17 players each – every team already had a marque player. The clubs spent between Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 for every player.
After the auction, eight teams and 144 players have been training for the league. The clubs have also managed required necessities for its players from coach to diet. Eight different teams consisting of 18 players each have been training for almost two weeks now
"The players have received a stage which is a great thing in itself. It is now our duty to help our players improve their game and demonstrate it in the best way possible," said Sagar Bhattarai, one of the owners of The Real Brothers, one of the eight clubs playing in the league.
The organising committee is also planning to have a proper broadcast system for the matches in order to help the players to be recognised at the national level. The league will also be inviting officials representing different organisations involved in sports.
"A proper broadcast of the games will help the players showing exceptional play to be recognised by officials at the higher governing body of football alongside A-division clubs in Nepal. We know that we have a responsibility to facilitate our players to climb the higher steps in sports. It is the reason we are taking the league forward in a commercial manner as well," said Giri.
The initiation is expected to encourage neighbouring local levels to organise similar matches and help youths to seek careers in sports.
"We will continue the league as the recent supports from our locals residing within and outside the municipality have encouraged us. We also look forward to more support from the government side as well. We are determined to help our youths," said Giri, who added, "The upcoming leagues will be more improved than the previous ones."
With the league of cricket ended and the league of football all set to begin, people are also looking forward to organise similar leagues or tournaments in other sectors of sports such as volleyball and badminton as well.