In a year dominated by cricket, the sport hit big in the Pulsar Sports Award with seven nominations in four main awards. Cricket ruled in the Male Player of the Year (PoY) award when national team skipper Paras Khadka was lined up along with his teammates Subash Khakurel and Basanta Regmi. Paras and Nepali cricket was at the centre of the Nepali sports when the country competed in its first ever ICC World Twenty20. Cricket’s breathtaking performance for the last one year in Nepali calendar has found itself with sound presence in country’s most prestigious honour for the sports personalities. Coach Pubudu Dassanayake was the front runner for the award in the coach of the year category, while seam bowlers Som Pal Kami and Avinash Karn were nominated in the Youth Player of the Year (PoY). Sita Rana Magar was named among the five contenders in the Female PoY. Paras had a successful where he impressed both on and off the field. His exemplary leadership and performance not only helped Nepal seal a historic spot in the ICC World Twenty20 but also unfurled the Nepali flag high in Bangladesh following an inspirational display by the whole team. The Nepali captain also led Nepal to the ICC World Cricket League Division-III title in Bermuda where he made 176 runs and picked up six wickets. He was the leading scorer from Nepal in Bermuda and third overall. His 232 runs and 11 wickets were crucial in helping Nepal finish third in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers from where Nepal booked World Twenty20 tickets. His innings of 41 runs each against Hong Kong and Bangladesh saw him involved in two half century partnership in the ICC World Twenty20.
Subash has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the national team returning with highest scores in two international tournaments – ACC Emerging Teams Cup and ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers. While the wicket keeping batsman made 234 runs in the Qualifiers, he made 130 runs in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup. He is the only batsman to make a half century (50 against Afghanistan) in the ICC World Twenty20.
Crisis man Basanta had another wonderful year when he picked up 49 wickets in the Nepali calendar year. He picked up 14 wickets in the Qualifiers, 12 in Division-III, nine each in ACC Emerging Teams Cup and five in the World Twenty20.
Another cricket Sharad Vesawkar has already been assured of Special Award in the honor given by the umbrella association of Nepali sports journalists. Sharad’s cameo was crucial in handing Nepal a spot in World Cup.
Avinash Karna and Som Pal Kami are the face of the Nepali fast bowling. While Avinash’s sensational bowling came in the ACC U-19 Elite where he picked up 24 wickets with a hat-trick against Bahrain.
Som Pal carries the biggest story in his short history in Nepali cricket.
Som Pal made the biggest shortcut of his life when he found himself in the national team squad for the ICC 50-over World Cup Qualifiers, three months after he came to Nepal from India. He then impressed in New Zealand picking up nine wickets, while he took five wickets in his second tournament – World Twenty20. Som Pal is currently the fastest bowler of Nepal whose maximum speed has exceeded 141 kilometers per hour which he did against Afghanistan in Bangladesh.
Dassanayake has been nominated for the third consecutive time in the coach of the year category. The first time he was nominate for the award was three years back missing out the award to Jagat Tamatta. Dassanayake then grabbed the award next year and he is tipped to win it one more time after guiding Nepal to its biggest sporting achievement till date. Under Dassanayake, Nepal not only saw a rise of higher level but also transformed into a team that roars at the most tough stage of cricket. Dassanayake also led Nepal to Division-III title – his second consecutive ICC title for Nepal.
Sita has been one of the most successful performers from the women’s cricket team who impressed both at home and away. She was the joint leading scorer in the Women’s National Cricket tournament making 247 runs slamming three half centuries. Sita also picked up six wickets in the national tournament. In the ACC Women’s Premier in Thailand, Sita scored 82 runs making a half century against Iran while she also picked up 11 wickets.