Pawan Sarraf, Bhim Sharki, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Lalit Singh Bhandari were four of the six biggest buys lighting up the Dhangadhi Premier League (DPL) auction on Saturday.
The young quartet went for maximum bid price of Rs 250,000 along with hard hitting batsman Binod Bhandari and national team’s current regular Aarif Sheikh. The third edition of the DPL is set to begin from February 9 at the Fapla Cricket Ground where six city-based franchise team vie for the title of one of the reputed Twenty20 cricket tournaments of the country.
Sarraf was a revelation during the recently concluded Everest Premier League (EPL) where he finished as tournament’s second highest wicket taker with 11 scalps. The Kalaiya cricketer is also capable to bat at the top and middle order owing to the knack of scoring runs. He will play for two-time defending champions Dhangadhi Stars—previously known as Team Chauraha Dhangadhi—for this edition.
The new batting talent Sharki was the day’s last biggest buy who was chased after by four franchises and Rupandehi Challengers got him through luck draw. Challengers had to pay a penalty of Rs 62,500 in buying Sharki after they exceeded their spending limit.
Sharki has performed pretty well with the Nepali U-19 side and impressed everyone in the recent domestic tournaments with his fast scoring in the Prime Minister Cup One Day National, EPL and Pokhara Premier League (PPL). He has struck two half centuries in the PPL.
Rajbanshi, touted as the next left arm spinner to replace veteran Basanta Regmi in the national team, has travelled with the senior side in multiple tournaments off late but is yet to become a regular. He has turned out to be integral part of every franchise he plays for picking up wickets with tight economy rate. He was the man-of-the-final when Lalitpur Patriots won the EPL title this season.
Left arm seamer Lalit was the first big buy of the day with Challengers acquiring his services for this season through lucky draw. He was adjudged last season’s most valuable player for eventual champions Dhangadhi. He was effective when Nepal claimed their first ever One Day International victory which they did against Netherlands in a two-match bilateral series in August last year.
Bhandari, who had lost his national team spot following a poor run of form, was a surprise man in the biggest buys’ list after Challengers rode their luck again after five teams bid for him. Bhandari has also been relieved as the strategic player for Mahendranagar United this season. Bhandari, however, has hit back form for domestic leagues to get his form back.
Aarif was an expected entrant in the Rs 250,000 club although he didn’t have the best of PPL and EPL. Despite his recent failures, Challengers put a huge amount of faith in run scoring abilities and the class he possesses. He will play for United this season.
The franchises were given a purse of Rs 1.2 million and Challengers were the biggest spenders splashing Rs 1.445 million to buy required quota of 11 players through the auction. Pradeep Airee, who is in a comeback trail as an opener for the national team, also drew multiple bids following his recent performance in the EPL. He was sold for Rs 240,000 to Challengers, the second highest amount spent.
CYC Attariya, whose biggest buy was another emerging cricket Sandeep Jora for a price of Rs 230,000, saved Rs 300,000. Spin bowling allrounder Bhuwan Karki was Attariya’s next big buy for Rs 210,000. Young Rohit Kumar Paudel was also among the high earners with United getting him for a purse of Rs 230,000.