National cricket team coach Pubudu Dassanayake has won the Coach of the Year award in the Pulsar Sports Award — the first delight for cricket in one of the most prestigious sports award of the country.
In winning the award, Dassanayake left behind Wangden Lama of swimming, Nar Bahadur Shahi of athletics, Yubaraj Gurung of wushu and Akbar Shah of karate.
Dassanayake was almost a unanimous selection for the juries following the fine results he produced for country last year. Nepal have so far not returned empty handed from any international 50-over tournament with Dassanayake behind the team.
Under Dassanayake, Nepal lifted the ICC World Cricket League Division-IV in Malaysia in September — the first title for Nepal in foreign soil. One month later, Dassanayake helped Nepal share the ACC Trophy Elite with hosts UAE.
He also led Nepal to a runner-up finish in the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Kathmandu on March. It was the first time that Nepal had reached the final of the ACC Twenty20.
Dassanayake, however, was not avaialble to receive the award as he is currently in Canada and will return Nepal on July 18.
Cricket still has three more nominations in the Sports Award with Paras nominated for Player of Year (Male) and Popular Player of the Year Award and Basanta Regmi nominated for the former.
Former U-16 cricketer Akash Bista had to return empty handed from the Youth Player of the Year category won by Chahana Bomjan Lama of wushu.