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National team veteran Shakti to lead Pokhara Rhinos

National cricket team’s veteran left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan will lead Pokhara Rhinos in the TVS Everest Premier League (EPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament set to begin at the TU Stadium from December 19.

J4 Sports on Wednesday announced Shakti as the captain of the Rhinos during a programme in Kathmandu. Shakti was also the captain of Jagadamba Giants during the 50-over competition under Nepal Premier League and Jagadamba Rhinos during the first edition of EPL Twenty20.

He was also the captain of Dhangadhi Premier League team Rupandehi Challengers. The franchise owners also revealed the team jersey and squad. Rhinos had bought 10 players in the EPL auction, while Gauchan is also the marquee player.

They will now select one cricketer for the final squad through a talent hunt and its mandatory for all the six franchises to have international recruits. Rhinos will conduct a talent hunt in Pokhara on November 18 from where seven players will be kept in its training camp.

After the training camp scheduled to begin from December 9, one player will make the final cut. Shakti said his side will give it all it takes to win the EPL title which is the highest cash prize cricket tournament in Nepali cricket history. The champions of the tournament will receive Rs 2.1 million.

J4 Managing Director Sahil Agrawal said Rhinos will help in producing domestic cricketers who will be capable to represent Nepal at the international stage.

Chitwan Tigers, Kathmandu Kings XI, Biratnagar Warriors, Lalitpur Patriots and Bhairahawa Gladiators are the other five team s in the EPL – a city-based franchise cricket tournament. Kings XI, Lalitpur Patriots and Biratnagar Warriors have already conducted their talent hunt programmes.

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