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

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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