KATHMANDU, June 1: GoldenGate International College sponsored two-way air-tickets for Nepali cricketers Chandra Saud and Amrit Bhattarai, who have been called by Sri Lanka Port Authority Cricket Club to play in the U-23 Inter Club Tournament of Sri Lanka.
Nepali national cricket team coach Pubudu Dassanayake used his contacts to help the Nepali pacers find a place in the Sri Lankan club. But the club offered them only a place to stay, following which Bhattarai and Saud were looking sponsors who would fund their travel to Sri Lanka.
GoldenGate organized a press conference on Friday to announce their its intention to sponsor their travel as well as scholarship for them to pursue higher education up to Masters´ level. In return, GoldenGate asked the players to play for its team in the domestic college cricket tournament.
GoldenGate College CEO Ramesh Silwal said that the sponsorship would assure players that they are not alone and persuade others to support Nepali players.
"When I saw a facebook campaign to raise money for these two players´ travel to Sri Lanka, I was dismayed by the plight of Nepali national players. I even spoke with the officials at the National Sports Council and Cricket Association of Nepal," said Silwal. "In the end, I decided to support them."
Silwal thanked coach Dassanayake for setting up the two fast bowlers with Sri Lankan clubs. "These two players will get exposure in Sri Lanka and I´m sure their experience will ultimately help our national team," said Silwal, who was vice-president of CAN until last year.
"I see lots of talent in Nepal but I am surprised to see Nepal ranking low among the associate nations of ICC. It was all because of lack of experience," said coach Dassanayake.
Bhattarai and Saud will stay in Sri Lanka for six weeks and play a three-day as well as a fifty-over match every week.
"I´ll try to impress the coach and I´ll give my best," said Saud. "This is a chance to shape our cricketing career and it is great opportunity for both of us," added Bhattarai.
Both the players are scheduled to reach Sri Lanka by June 5.