By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has appointed spinner Sandeep Lamichhane as the captain of the national cricket team of Nepal. The cricket governing body decided to appoint a new captain after taking disciplinary action against regular Captain Gyanendra Malla and Vice Captain Dipendra Singh Aire.
A board meeting of CAN on Wednesday took the decision to this effect. Following a confrontation with the players, the board meeting also decided not to include four players – Gyanendra Malla, Dipendra Singh Aire, Sompal Kami and Kamal Singh Aire – in grading in the first six months of 2022. Gyanendra Malla was appointed the captain of the national cricket team in 2019 after Paras Khadka stepped down voluntarily. Nepal’s performance has been average under his captaincy.
CAN decided to axe Captain Malla and Vice Captain Aire upon the recommendation of a probe committee formed to investigate breach of discipline by the players.
Sandeep Lamichhane is the tenth captain of the national cricket team. He has already led the U-19 cricket team of Nepal as well as two franchise – Kathmandu Kings XI in Everest Premier League and Biratnagar Kings in Pokhara Premier League. Lamichhane has the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash.
CAN had sought clarification from the four players twice for expressing their dissatisfaction regarding the grading issued by CAN with a media outlet.
The issue surfaced earlier in November when Malla, Kami and Aire duo publicly talked about their reservation regarding the grade with the local media. Fast bowler Kami said it was unjust to keep him in Grade B. Kamal Aire was also not happy to fall in Grade C. Skipper Malla and Dipendra Aire were in Grade A. Subsequently, CAN sought clarification from the players on November 11 for speaking against its decision.
The players submitted their clarification on November 16. However, CAN was not satisfied with the players’ answer. The issue didn’t fizzle out. A total of 19 players led by Skipper Malla submitted an 11-point memorandum to CAN seeking clarification regarding the classification of grades on November 21. The issue became more volatile since then. CAN again asked the players for a second time on November 24 to submit their clarification within three days. Finally, CAN decided to take disciplinary action against the players.