NEPAL ALL SET TO GO

Tribhuvan University, the Bhaktapur Army School and Pulchowk Engineering College grounds in Nepal are the three venues hosting the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5. Upgrades have been made to all the grounds and Nepal’s curators and administrators have been working tirelessly over the past months. They are now ready.

Tribhuvan University Ground

The wickets on all three grounds have been relaid and all matches played at the TU (Tribhuvan University) Ground will be broadcast live on Nepali television. There has also been an upgrade of the facilities in the pavilion with the addition of a second restroom at the TU Ground. Previously, teams shared one restroom but now there are two separate toilets, one for each dressing room.

Nepal’s cricket fans can be a boisterous bunch and the fencing around the ground has also been refurbished with the six-foot fences having an extra two feet added to them to prevent any form of pitch invasion. 7000 were at the U-17 Final last February, more than 10,000 have been at U-19 ACC matches featuring Nepal at Tribhuvan in the past.

“The TU Ground is Nepal’s number one ground. The final of the World Cricket League is held there and it will be a great spectacle for all,” says Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President Binaya Raj Pandey. The TU Ground is the only ground to cater specifically to cricket while the other grounds host other sports like football as well.

Picture courtesy Durga Subedi

The last international tournament hosted by these grounds was the ACC U-17 Elite Cup in February 2009. The biggest problems faced by the Engineering College Ground has been the standard of the wicket, the condition of the outfield and the open boundaries. A national U-16 tournament was held in Pulchowk, and conditions looked to have improved. Traditionally supportive to slow bowlers, the pitch looks good for batting, but with some surface grass it can also work to the advantage of the medium-pace bowlers. Additional soil and heavy rolling have smoothed the outfield to a large extent, with fencing also put all around the ground. These upgrades, with some maintenance, will be the long-term benefits for cricket in Nepal.

The Army School Ground, Bhaktapur

The Army School Ground in Bhaktapur is the farthest ground from Kathmandu, 14 kilometers away from the city centre. It is owned by the Army School but maintained by CAN. The ground has two pitches which have undergone an upgrade over the past eight months. An uneven outfield, caused by numerous army parades, has been rolled and soil has been added where necessary. “The pitch has too often been labeled as dusty but after the work done on it this is no longer an issue,” says groundsman Suresh Narayan. Temporary tents have been set up to act as pavilions.

“This event will bring a lot of publicity for the game and will hopefully generate more interest in the nation’s youth. We have been working very hard over the past months to prepare for this tournament and I am sure it will be a success,” added Mr. Pandey.

Cricket in Nepal is a matter of national honour. The opening ceremony of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 will be in the presence of the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal. Bahrain, Fiji, Jersey, Singapore, USA The top two from the tournament move up to Division 4, to be played in Italy later in the year.

Related:
Pepsi World Cricket League Division 5 Tournament Page
Nepal Cricket Profile

Filed February 18th, 2010