Nepali cricket plunged into further crisis after 12 players from the senior national team refused to report to the closed-camp for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had called on 30 players for the first phase of the camp scheduled to begin from Sunday with Saturday being the reporting day at the hotel.
The players are demanding the reinstatement of Gyanendra Malla and Dipendra Singh Airee as the captain and vice-captain of the national team as the duo were removed under disciplinary grounds. Along with the two, Sompal Kami and Kamal Singh Airee were also not considered for the first six months of the central contract to be given in 2022 for the same reason.
On Saturday, the agitating players sent an official letter also signed by eight other members of the national team saying they won’t join the camp until their demands were not met.
CAN had replaced Gyanendra with star leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who is currently playing in the Australian Big Bash League.
The letter sent to CAN states that they were demotivated by the cricket governing body’s decision of punishing captain and vice-captain just because they were “speaking for the rights of players.”
It further added that current situation has spoiled the environment to play cricket and unless the decision is reversed (reinstating Gyanendra and Dipendra), the players will not join the camp.
Among players sticking with the four players were Kushal Bhurtel, Bikram Sob, Karan KC, Sushan Bhari, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Binod Bhandari, Sandeep Jora and Nandan Yadav.
Barring Jora, Nandan and Kamal, nine were part of the team that played against Oman and the USA during the team’s second Tri-Series of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in September. Nepali team has not played any international series after that outing.
On December 15, CAN had punished the players for speaking against the cricket governing body publicly expressing their dissatisfaction over central contract claiming it was unfair for many players.
CAN had demanded clarification from the players twice but in return were given the ultimatum to clarify over 11 issues pertaining to Nepali cricket. Following the CAN decision, the players sat for a talk in presence of the country’s sports minister but country’s supreme body of cricket remained rigid over its decision.
The returning head coach Pubudu Dassanayake also said the right to change the captain remains within the board and he cannot challenge it.