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EPL Foreign Recruits: Dutch duo and juggernaut Hayat -- Are Warriors in verge of retaining title?

Dec 06, 2018 | CN Staff |
The Everest Premier League (EPL) defending champions Biratnagar Warriors are doing their every bit in terms of foreign recruit in a bid to retain the title. Experienced current Dutch and former South African Roelof van der Merwe leads the list of Warriors' foreign recruits that also include his compatriot Paul van Meekeren, Hong Kong's hard-hitter Babar Hayat and India's U-19 World Cup winner Smit Patel. The big names in Warriors squad will also be a great experience for domestic players to play with them. 

These monster signings for Warriors have obviously made a major title contenders as the franchise is led by national team skipper Paras Khadka apart from some of the big names of domestic cricket including Basanta Regmi, Karan KC and Anil Sah. But here, Roshan Dhital brings you all about the foreign recruits of the defending champions. 

Roelof Van der Merwe (The Netherlands)

Van der Merwe is one of the few cricketers to represent two countries internationally. Having played his first international match back in 2009 against Australia for South Africa, he switched allegiance to play for the Netherlands in 2015. He played 13 one-dayers for Proteas. The 33-year old is currently playing for Somerset in the English County. He was with the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils for three years from 2011 after a one-year stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009. He has 211 runs and 31 wickets in 25 Twenty20 Internationals. The biggest experience that Warriors squad can exchange from Van de Merwe is his appearance in 189 Twenty20s.  He has six First-Class centuries with 3,053 runs and 123 wickets in the format out of 63 matches.

Babar Hayat (Hong Kong)

Former Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat is playing in domestic Nepali league for the third time having previously played in the second edition of EPL and Dhangadhi Premier League. The explosive 26-year-old Hayat had played a crucial role in handing Warriors EPL title in the second edition. He has the ability to dispatch the ball all around the park which he proved last season at the TU Ground. He was then named the player-of-the-tournament for his 313 runs in seven innings. Pakistan-born Hayat has scored 541 runs in Twenty20 format including a century against Oman in ACC Asia Cup 2016. At his brutal best, Hayat had scored 122 runs from 60 deliveries. He is the only Hong Kong batsman to  score a First Class double hundred which he did against Papua New Guinea in the 2015-17 ICC Intercontinental Cup. He has represented Hong Kong in 20 ODI matches with 759 runs to his name. From 35 List-A matches for his country, he has scored 1,299 runs with 12 half-centuries.

Paul van Meekeren (The Netherlands)

Talented Van Meekeren is another crucial Dutch additon in the Warriors squad. The 25-year right arm medium pacer has played 23 Twenty20 matches for his national side picking up 20 wickets. He plays alongside his compatriot Roelof van der Merwe for  Somerset in the English County, an experience that is going to be very crucial in Warriors' bid to retain the title. Van Meekeren has 21 wickets from eight First-Class matches and 42 scalps in 44 List-A matches. His 4-11 against hosts Ireland during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers is so far his best bowling figure in the shorter version of the game. 

Smit Patel (India)

A part of India's triumphant 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup team, Patel has already collected experience of playing in Nepal. The 25-year old was involved in a solid 130 run-stand with his skipper Unmukt Chand in the final against Australia that led the Test playing giants to 2012 U-19 World Cup glory. Patel represents Tripura in the Indian First-Class tournament Ranji Trophy where he has collected 663 runs from 13 matches. 


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