Nepal’s Everest Premier League Postponed Due To COVID-19 Concerns

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The Corona Virus effect has been felt across the dozens of sports events from athletics, golf, football, tennis, motorsports, and cricket due to which the global sporting calendar is in chaos and several sports events got canceled or postponed. The fast-spreading disease which began in China in late December has pushed the sporting calendar into chaos and cast the shadow over the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.

We know that sports have been in trouble over the decades by drug bans and boycotts, but nothing matches the impact of Coronavirus. Because with every match canceled, the industry’s economy has been dropped; apparel and sportswear sales are down. Recently, the virus outbroke in several countries like the United States, Italy, South Korea, etc. Several Sports events got postponed, which includes Nepal’s “Everest Premier League”.

Everest Premier League (EPL) is a franchise Twenty20 cricket tournament organized by EPL Pvt. Ltd., a private group in Nepal run by Aamir Akhtar and Suraj Giri. It is started in September 2016 with six franchises consisting of domestic and international players. Lalitpur Patriots are the defending champions after winning the 2018 season. The 2020 edition of EPL is scheduled from March 14 to March 28 between Lalitpur Patriots and Pokhara Rhinos in the opening match at TU International Cricket Ground at Kirtipur.

This will be the first time that EPL in Nepal will have an international broadcaster as their partner instead of DSport every year. Big names from the T20 world like Chris Gayle, Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, and Dwayne Smith will be playing for different teams.

However, it seems like the local fans will have to wait for some time to see the high-profile players in the ground as the EPL organizers announced the postponement of the scheduled event amidst Coronavirus concerns.  EPL Managing Director Aamir Akhtar said in a statement that they are sad about the announcement of temporary postpone but, the health and well-being of all Nepalis and our overseas players is the primary consideration.

He also said that the decision was taken with the consultations of the Nepal Ministry of Home Affairs, the Cricket Association of Nepal, franchisees, players, and other stakeholders. Even though there has been only one case tested positive so far, but considering China’s severeness, the health minister is requested to suspend major gatherings to reduce the risk of virus spread.

The neighboring countries like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan did not alter their schedule of sports events. BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly stated the virus would not change the IPL schedule. So let’s hope the game to be rescheduled as soon as possible and see how the competition will be.

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