Six cricketers earned the highest bids in today’s auction of Dhangadhi Premier League slated for February 9-23 at the Fapla Stadium in Dhangadhi.
A total of six franchise-based teams —Biratnagar Kings, CYC Attariya, Dhangadhi Stars, Kathmandu Goldens, Mahendranagar United and Rupandehi Challengers — will take part in the premier Twenty20 cricket tournament organised annually by Dhangadhi Cricket Academy. Dhangadhi
Stars changed their name from Team Dhangadhi Chauraha.
In all, 204 players had registered their names for auction, while the organisers shortlisted 186 from the list and 12 local cricketers picked from talent hunt programme. Each team bought 12 players including one local cricketer. A total of 120 players remained unsold along with six local cricketers. The six teams spent more than seven million rupees.
The Challengers snapped up Lalit Bhandari, Binod Bhandari and Bhim Sarki for Rs 250,000 each, while United bought Arif Sheikh for the same amount. Other two cricketers who earned highest bids included Pawan Sarraf (Stars) and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi (Goldens).
The Challengers, who have named Basant Regmi as the Strategic Player following the retirement of Shakti Gauchan, spent a total of Rs 1.45 million, Rs 245,000 more than the team ceiling and had to pay 25 per cent fine of the exceeding amount while buying the 12th player. Sompal Kami’s Stars spent Rs 20,000 more than the cap, while Sharad Vesawkar — who replaced Binod Bhandari as the Strategic Player of United — saved Rs 15,000.
Likewise, Gyanendra Malla’s Goldens spent Rs 1.95 million, while Kings — who replaced Paras Khadka with Karan KC as the Strategic Player after the national team skipper pulled out of the tournament citing family reasons — spent 990,000. CYC Attariya, who retained Dipendra Singh Airee as the Strategic Player, spent only Rs 900,000.
Along with Khadka, four other big names — Sandeep Lamichhane, Sagar Pun, Subash Khakurel and Naresh Budayair — will not be playing in this year’s DPL. Lamichhane is busy in international events, while Pun is recovering after having an ankle surgery. Khakurel and Budayair did not register their names for auction due to their personal reasons. Former national team member Jitendra Mukhiya remained unsold.