Everest Premier League [EPL] Nepal – Coverage
Everest Premier League is Nepal’s professional T20 franchise league played every year during the winter season usually in December month. EPL tournament is not run and organized by Nepal’s cricket board (Cricket Association of Nepal), instead it is run by a private organization called EPL Pvt. Ltd which is a private group owned by Aamir Akhtar and Suraj Giri.
Initially in 2014, the Zohra Sports Management and Cricket Association of Nepal [CAN] had discussions to start a franchise tournament called NPL. But later, the board had pulled out as organizers for the tournament which led to call-off the tournament in 2014.
However, after two years the EPL tournament was planned and organized by a private organization with the help of the CAN.
In 2017, ICC had officially sanctioned the EPL, thus allowing all domestic and foriegn players to contest in this league. EPL has also paid 20,000 USD to ICC that will be used solely towards the development of Nepal Cricket.
The target of EPL is to bring investors, sponsors and players under one roof in order to work together for the growth and development of cricket in Nepal. Just like other leagues in the world, EPL also aims to scout, groom and promote young local talent in the country who will one day represent Nepal’s national team.
With the involvement of foriegn star players and coaches in EPL, the local Nepali players can benefit a lot by sharing the same dressing with the big players. It gives an international exposure for the players, thus making them capable of handling the pressure of playing intense international matches.
It is a fact that fans bring an extra element and excitement without which any league is incomplete. The Nepali fans are so passionate towards this league that during the EPL final more than 16,000 fans came to support their favourite team. It is great to see the involvement of fans in EPL despite the fact that Nepal hasn’t been a top-rated international side.
The first Edition of EPL was played in the year 2016. Panchakanya Tej are winners of the inaugural season as they defeat the Colors X-factors by 40 runs in the final. Lalitpur Patriots are the defending champions, they had won the title by defeating the Bhairahawa Gladiators by 14 runs.
1Sports is the official broadcasting channel which telecasts all the matches of EPL.
The 4th edition of EPL was originally scheduled to start from 8th december 2020, but was rescheduled several times after that. Finally on 5th March, the tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The next season of EPL is scheduled to start from 25th September during the Vijayadashami festival. The tournament has been scheduled earlier than the usual December window as the investors and stakeholders wanted to make up for their losses in the COVID-19 pandemic by organizing it during the festival season.
EPL Schedule Teams
The matches are played in single-round robin format, where each team plays the other once. Each team plays 5 matches in the group stage.
Points System –
For a Win – 2 points
For a Loss – 0 points
For a No-result – 1 point
The teams are ranked on the basis of points and the top-4 teams qualify for the play-offs.
Qualifier 1 – The top two teams knock horns in qualifier 1. The winner qualifies for the final
Eliminator – The 3rd and 4th teams battle out in the eliminator. The winner reaches the qualifier 2
Qualifier 2 – The winner of Eliminator and the loser of Qualifier 1 compete in the qualifier 2. The winner qualifies for the final
Final – The winner of qualifier 1 and 2 compete in the final. The winner eventually lifts the title.
Team Records –
Winners Per Season –
|1||Panchakanya Tej||Colors X-Factors||2016|
|2||Biratnagar Warriors||Bhairahawa Gladiators||2017|
|3||Lalitpur Patriots||Bhairahawa Gladiators||2018|
|DID NOT HAPPEN||2019|
|CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC||2020|
A total of 6 teams participate in the EPL. The teams are as follows:
1. Bhairahawa Gladiators –
Captain – Sharad Vesawkar
Coach – Pubudu Dassnayakee
Owner – Aditya Shanghai
Marquee Player – Sharad Vesawakar
Titles – 0
Previous Season – Runner-up
Bhairahawa Gladiators is a team based at Bhairahawa City. In the two seasons played so, both the times they had finished mid-table and qualified for the play-offs. However, the Gladiators haven’t managed to win a EPL title yet. The closest they reached was in the previous season where they lost to the Patriots by 14 runs in the final.
2. Kathmandu Kings XI
Captain – Farveez Maharoof
Coach – Manoj Katuwal
Owner – Rohit Gupta
Titles – 0
Marquee Player – Sandeep Lamichanne
Previous Season – Playoffs
Kathmandu Kings XI is a team of EPL based at Kathmandu which is the capital city of Nepal. The kings had a horrible start in their maiden season where they lost their first two matches and in the end of the league stage they could win only 1 out 5 matches thus finishing 5th the league stage.
The second season started off well for the Kings as they convincingly qualified for the playoffs, but lost their way in the playoffs. They lost both the qualifiers (1 and 2) thus getting knocked out of the tournament despite dominating in the league stage.
3. Lalitpur Patriots –
Captain – Gyanendra Malla
Coach – Raju Banet
Owner – Kishore Maharajan
Titles – 1
Previous Season – Winners
The defending champions Lalitpur Patriots is a team of EPL based at Lalitpur city. The Patriots were the table toppers of the previous season as they won 4 out of 5 games. They won a close game in the qualifier 1 by just 1 wicket. They won the final convincingly by setting a good total of 155 against the Gladiators, thus lifting their maiden title.
4. Biratnagar Warriors –
Captain – Paras Khadka
Coach – Mahesh Rijal
Owner – Vishal Agarwal
Titles – 1
Previous season – Finished 5th in the group stage
Biratnagar Warriors is a team of EPL based at Biratnagar city. Under the leadership of experienced captain the Biratnagar Warriors have won their maiden title in their first appearance. Hong Kong’s Babar Hayat was awarded the player of the series for brilliant performances throughout the season.
5. Chitwan Tigers –
Captain – Prithu Baskota
Coach – Dipendra Chaudhary
Owner – Kishor Bhattarai
Titles – 0
Previous Season – Play-offs
Chitwan Tigers is a team based at Chitwan city of Nepal. The Tigers have always been a star studded side with players like Paul Stirling, Max Holden, Dipendra Singh, Lalit Singha Bhandar who have performed well for their international side.
Despite having some of the greatest stars they lacked depth in their local players, therefore they didn’t have a greatest season in their 1st appearance (2017). They did qualify for the plays-offs in the previous season but had lost to Warriors in the Eliminator.
6. Pokhara Rhinos –
Captain – Kyle Coetzer
Coach – Nabin Jha
Owners – Deepa Agarwal and Sahil Agarwal
Titles – 0
Previous Season – finished 6th
Pokhara Rhinos is a team based at Pokhara city of Nepal. This is the only franchise which has an overseas captain. Universe Boss Chris Gayle was also a part of this team. They didn’t have the greatest season last time around as they lost all the 5 matches of group stage thus finishing at the bottom of the table.
Top-10 Run scores (2018-19 season)
|R Inder Singh||337|
|Dipendra Singh Airee||231|
|Ryan Ten Doeschate||179|
Top-10 Wicket takers (2018-19 season)
|Yogendra Singh Karki||9|
|Kevin O’ Brien||9|
|RE Van der Merwe||8|
|Ryan Ten Doeschate||8|