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Why is Sompal's one-match appearance in Canada important for Nepal?

Aug 13, 2019 | CN Staff |

Two overs 33 runs with an economy of 16.5; the figures might be devastating to spoil Sompal Kami's debut in franchise league through the Global Twenty20 in Canada. But it was all forgotten on Sunday when his side Winnipeg Hawks claimed the title of the tournament.

In a high-scoring thriller, Hawks had edged Vancouver Knights in Super Over after both teams scored 192 each. Sompal was a substitute fielder for the game, a role that he also played against Brampton Wolves in the second Qualifier and dismissed flamboyant Pakistani allrounder Shahid Afridi.

The match against Edmonton Royals was the only game Sompal got to feature in the playing XI for Hawks throughout the tournament. But it had been a delightful campaign as he got the feel of rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the game. He definitely knows what a competitive tournament means. Previously, the talk had been all about leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.

There is a stark contrast between how the tournament folded for the two Nepali players who took to the field the same day and were clobbered for massive runs. Heading into the tournament following a torrid World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier campaign in Singapore, Sandeep was hit for 44 runs in four overs and took a wicket against Wolves in the match on August 2.

But if Sompal had to keep waiting for another chance in Canada, Sandeep was regular pick for Nationals because they knew how he had fared in the league last year. The leggie also went on to justify Nationals' faith on him returning with decent figures afterwards and picked up a wicket in all rest of the three matches he played.

On a better note, a fast bowling allrounder Sompal ended up as tournament champion – a history for any Nepali cricketer who got chance to be part of the title winning team on debut. But more than boasting having a champion in Canada's franchise tournament, it’s his cameo appearance that Nepal would cherish and so would Sompal himself.

After playing against Royals, Sompal became the second Nepali player in history to play in global franchise league. It was something that Nepalese have always wanted. They want all of their decent cricketers to play abroad and after Sandeep it was Sompal whom they were watching on an international television with odd-timing of the games back home not being a barrier.

For Nepali cricket enthusiasts, nothing is barrier if their players are playing in any competitive cricket tournament. Nepal now have another player at the game's big stage and the country wants him to get sold for other leagues as well. If Nepali cricket lovers want more home-grown players sneak into these leagues, Sompal will continue to count on this brief appearance to play other leagues.

"It was a great experience for me playing against and with some of the biggest stars of world cricket. They were really helpful and friendly and even gave me some bowling tips. The environment was quite competitive," said Sompal about all he could take from his debut.

"I don't want to make any judgments right now because time will tell whether I will get chance on this league or other leagues again. But I hope this will be helpful in creating more opportunities," he added.

The wicketless 33 runs in two overs were played out on the field for Sompal and off the field he must have proved what he is capable of during the training sessions. Irrespective of how the Global Twenty20 went for him, another Nepali player has surely stepped in the global franchise league.

He might have bled runs but it was important for him to be there. Time will definitely tell rest of the story. 


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