KATHMANDU, April 17: Para-athletes have replaced superstars and the likes of Namrata Shrestha as the goodwill ambassador for the 2012 Beach Cricket.
Shangri-La Cricket Academy on Tuesday announced para-athletes as its goodwill ambassador for the second phase of the beach cricket scheduled to be held this weekend at Riverside Spring Resort, Kurintar.
Bikram Bahadur Rana, Maiya Bisunkhhe and Jeet Bahadur Khadka were announced goodwill ambassadors for this season. Shangri-La Cricket Academy had earlier announced Namrata Shrestha and Manisha Koirala as the goodwill ambassadors in the previous editions.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, president of Shangri-La Cricket Academy, Aamir Akhtar, said that they selected the national para-heroes as goodwill ambassadors for a social cause.
Rana, Bisunkhhe and Khadka will head toward Malaysia immediately after the beach cricket to compete in the Para Asian Games - a qualifier for the London Olympics. Rana will compete in 100 m race and shot-put events, Khadka in 100 m race and long jump and Bisunkhhe in 100 m and 200 m races.
These three players had been training for a month under the supervision of coach Lila Shrestha. Coach Shrestha said that the Academy has provided equipment for the players and has also assured of further help.
President of Nepal Para Olympics Surendra Basnet said that the players´ trip to Malaysia has been confirmed but they are waiting for financial assistance from the National Sports Council. “We are still plagued by financial problem and we want the support from the government,” said Basnet.
Country manager of Royal Stag Ravindra Jain said that the athletes have shown that anything is possible in the world. “We will promote them by posting their photos in billboards to encourage them to perform well in Malaysia,” he said, and added, “Our team salutes these heroes.”
Altogether 14 teams are competing in the second phase of the beach cricket. The matches will be played in league-cum-knockout basis.