Indian firm pitches for commercial rights to Nepal T20 tourney

MUMBAI: An Indian company - Seven 3 Sports - has secured the commercial rights for the proposed Nepal Premier League (NPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, for a period of ten years.

The Cricket Association of Nepal's annual general assembly on Wednesday gave the green light to the body's executive committee’s proposal to hand over the commercial rights of NPL to the Indian company, CAN president Chatur Bahadur Chand told local media.

“The general assembly has entrusted the executive committee with the task of moving forward the proposal on the condition that CAN should have the ownership of NPL,” Chand told the Kathmandu Post. “We are of the view that the event should be beneficial for Nepali cricket.”

CAN had put forth the proposal at its general assembly after they received a proposal from Seven 3 Sports.

“If we ink the deal as per the proposal of Seven 3 Sports (S3S), the Indian company will provide us with (Nepali) Rs 400 million (Rs 250.73 million) for a period of ten years,” said Chand. “In the first year, CAN will get Rs 25 million and there will be an increment in the amount every year.” According to Chand, though the deal is yet to be finalised, a preliminary agreement with the Indian company, in principle, has moved forward.

“We had earlier informally taken the NPL proposal to the executive committee meeting, but there was no consensus, so we introduced it before the general assembly,” he said. “The general assembly has given various suggestions and we will discuss that with S3S before finalising the deal.”

According to S3S's company profile, it is involved in sporting and other recreational activities.

According to Kathmandu Post, some points in the agreement are related to infrastructure like upgrading at least two cricket stadiums. “Our first priority is to install floodlights in the TU grounds and upgrade facilities either in Pokhara or Bhairahawa grounds,” said Chand. “The agreement is similar to giving license to the Indian company for holding the franchise-based NPL for the next 10 years, though CAN will be the owner.”

Saying that the NPL would be “the highest level domestic cricket”, Chand said the event will be extremely beneficial for Nepali cricket.

“At present the only income we have is the Nepali Rs 80 million fund that we get from the International Cricket Council and around Nepali Rs Rs 60 million is spent in salary and allowances,” said Chand. “If the deal with the Indian company works out for the proposed NPL, we will have some extra funds in hand for the game’s development.”

If the NPL takes off as per CAN’s plan, it would be the fourth franchise-based domestic tournaments after Dhangadhi Premier League, Everest Premier League and Pokhara Premier League, the daily further reports.