Curtains will be down when the Sagarmatha Cement Dhangadhi Premier League (DPL) kicks off at the SP Grounds from Sunday.
Sudur Paschimanchal Academy (SPA) and Dhangadhi Cricket Academy (DCA) are jointly organising the tournament that includes six franchise from six different cities of Nepal. The entertaining contest, a Twenty20 competition modelled into the lucrative Indian Premier League, will be participated in by the top notch cricketers of the country.
DCA Director Subash Bahadur Shahi said the tournament will help in the decentralization of the game. "DPL is a new format in Nepali cricket that offers a highest cash prize for the winners apart from the exciting auction that was held few days back. It will help in decentralizing cricket and bring professionalism ," said Shahi during a press conference in Dhangadhi on Thursday.
The opening will see a charity match between Nepal XI and Dhangadhi XI with the proceedings going to the construction of Fapla Stadium, a campaign that Shahi has been running in what he has already establish as the "City of Cricket".
The 20 per cent of the ticket collection will go for the education of children of deceased former coach of the region Arjun Khadka and 15 percent will be separated for Fapla campaign.
The biggest leap DPL makes in the country's cricket is the auction that it saw in Kathmandu a few months back signalling a new era of the sport in Nepal. National team skipper Paras Khadka will lead Team Chauraha and his deputy Gyanendra Malla captains CYC Attariya. Local boy Binod Bhandari takes the charge of Kanchanpur Iconics, Shakti Gauchan spearheads Rupandehi Challengers, Sharad Vesawkar leads Biratnagar Kings and Basanta Regmi will be leading Kathmandu Goldens.
While all the skippers were bought in a set price of Rs 150,000, Sagar Pun (Iconics), Sompal Kami (Goldens) along with Mehboob Alam and Karan KC -- CYC Attariya -- had lit up the auction notching up a whopping Rs 100,000 each.
As the tournament offers a cash purse of Rs 1.5 million and runners-up get Rs 700,000, the event is so far the highest cash-prize cricket competition held in the country.
After a round of league matches, the top four teams will make it to the qualifying playoffs. The top two teams will play a qualifier from where the winner will make it to the final. The loser of the qualifier will play the winners of the eliminator match between third and fourth place team to have another shot at the final spot.
The tournament has been joined by various corporate houses ever since it announced the hosting. Ruslan Cricket, Jagshakti TMT Bar, Goldstar are the co-sponsors of the tournament.