It looked like under the new committee, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has finally learnt to encash the success and craze of the game. CAN today unveiled Surya Nepal's Shikhar Filter Kings and John Players and Standard Chartered Bank as the sponsors of the revised national league and national team. And, the value of the five year sponsorship deal? Unbelievable Rs. 20,000,000.
Surya Nepal and Standard Chartered Bank will be the main sponsor and co-sponsor of the Shikhar Filter One-Day and Two-Day National League cricket tournament. 'The five-year sponsorship deal is worth Rs. 20 millions in cash and kinds,' CAN president Binaya Raj Pandey informed in the press conference.
As the part of the sponsorship, the sponsors will provide CAN Rs 3millions a year in cash for the sponsorship of the national league and the national team.
This is the biggest sponsorship in Nepali cricket so far. Shikhar Filter Kings will be the title sponsor of the league while John Players will continue as the national team sponsor.
The new format of the national league will see the six regional teams fighting for the one-day event in Kathmandu as well as two-day event to be played across four grounds in three regions - Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Birgunj and Kalaiya. Until last year, the regional teams played the national league in one-day format only.
'We are trying to decentralize cricket through the two-day event,' Pandey added. 'The first year will be a trial, then will review the format and may make some adjustments.' The district level matches of the national league begins on Feb 15 while CAN is yet to announce the exact dates of the finale. 'We believe that our senior team has failed to perform as they should have because of the weak domestic structure and this will improve their performances in coming years,' he added.
Samindra Roy, the marketing vice-president of Surya Nepal, thanked CAN for providing an opportunity to sponsor the national league and said the national team made the company proud by their performance in the ACC Premier League.
Sujit Mundal, the CEO of Standard Chartered, expressed happiness for being associated with cricket. During the program, Pandey promised to ‘do something' for the players next year adding that the focus of his team at CAN this year is to give continuity to cricket by establishing strong domestic base.
'Let me get established for a year,' he said answering query about the match-fee for the players in the national league. 'Next year, I will do something.'