Kathmandu: 8th November 2021
Countries biggest sporting event, Everest Premier League successfully completed its 4th edition at the TU international cricket ground from the 25th of September to 9th of October 2021.
The league came back after an extended delay of 18 months, because of the ongoing pandemic. And thus had tremendous pent up hype and excitement. It lived up to its buzz & its billing. It ticked all the right check boxes and was a winner in every regard.
For starters, the title sponsorship was taken by the leading brand in two-wheelers, Bajaj Pulsar. Bajaj Pulsar is country’s one of the most trusted and well known brands and getting a title sponsor of such stature always adds loads of credibility and goodwill.
Second, because this edition featured some of the biggest names of international cricket. From Pakistani super star ‘Shahid Afridi’ to Bangladesh’s swashbuckling opener ‘Tamim Iqbal’ to Sri Lanka’s Mr. consistent ‘Upul Tharanga’ and of course the notorious West Indian pacer ‘Kesrick Williams.’ Overall cricketers from 12 countries participated, but what stood out was the fact that there were several from test playing nations.
Third, the factor that made this season stand out the most was the leagues TV broadcast. The quality of sports production was unlike anything seen before in Nepal. With state of the art equipment and almost half a million dollar investment in getting the infrastructure set up, the broadcast was slick & at par with any other international cricket event. The names on the commentary panel included broadcasting giants like Mr Charu Sharma, Mr Ajay Mehra, Mr Mikhhail Vaswani, Mr. Andrew Leonard and former Nepal captain - Mr Paresh Lohani.
The broadcast feed was sent to 80+ countries worldwide, through satellite links & RTMP/SRT signals, making it the first Nepali league to have sold media rights outside Nepal. Major broadcasters to name a few were - Himalaya TV HD (Nepal) One Sports (India) OSR Sports (Nepal Digital) Fancode (India Digital) Free Sports (UK and Europe)
The total estimated reach of EPL has been 100 Million plus people - (Only Electronic Media - Not including Print media or Radio)
Since his playing days, it was Aamir Akhtar’s dream to see world class broadcast of Nepali cricket. This was a personal goal he had set for himself which this edition he has been able to achieve. The fans have also responded positively and EPL 2021 will definitely be remembered in history books for their part in improving the sports broadcasting standards of our country. What’s also worth noticing is the fact that EPL’s entire digital team was made up of young Nepali boys and girls. Local Nepali talent created all digital content. These all boys and girls will enrich the Nepali media landscape in the coming years.
Fourth and foremost was the quality of cricket. It was evident from the cricket skill at display that this game of bat and ball has come a long way in our country. The games were of high quality and they were not so because of international cricketers, but some sensational domestic talent.
The league continues to bring some exceptional talent to the fore – may it be Bhim Sharki – who won the emerging player of the league to the new gem Sagar Dhakal who took home the man of series award. Not a lot of people had heard their names before.
Fifth – was the prize money. This edition also made it the biggest cash award for a sports league in Nepal. The winning team got Rs. 50 Lakhs while runners up got Rs. 15 Lakhs. Also in each match a cash prize of Rs. 20,000 was given away through a sponsor. Another 50,000 was given to the emerging talent.
This makes the total cash prize pool of 70 Lakhs NPR.
The organizers faced several hurdles, especially due to the unseasonal rains, which hampered the schedule tremendously. However, credit must be given to all the ground staff who even with limited resources, worked hours on end to ensure cricket wins and rains lose.
Organizing a league amidst a pandemic is an extremely difficult business, but EPL was handsomely supported by all govt. agencies.
Aamir Akthar, founder/CEO – EPL said, “I don’t have enough words to thank all govt. agencies that supported us, which ensured that EPL 2021 is conducted smoothly. For any country, to have world class events, the role of govt. bodies is very important, and I can gladly testify that we have able & smart officers at all levels.” He went on to thank Nepal Police, National Sports Council, Sports Ministry, Immigration Ministry and Customs Department primarily.
In fact, such great was the support from govt. bodies, that one gesture and example can sum it all. The glittering EPL trophy was unveiled by none other than the honorable president of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari ji at the presidential palace, who invited all foreign players and team captains on the eve of 24th September.
To summarize, Aamir added, “this event was not possible without the support extended by Cricket Association of Nepal. They were always ready and present, whatever permits or support we needed. And I look forward to working with them for a brighter future of Nepali cricket.
Along with CAN, I also extend my sincere gratitude to ICC for sanctioning EPL along with all foreign players who agreed to travel in such tough times & the cricket governing bodies of various countries whose cricketers came to play. And last but not the least, the Nepal media – for always-always being there for us.”
Any sports league cannot succeed without corporate backing. And EPL had some great partners. EPL would also like to thank all their sponsors and hope to partner with them year after year.
And of course, at the end of the day, if simply put EPL is franchise cricket. The beating heart of EPL are its 6 franchises who have since day 1 thrown all their weight and trust in the organisers. The proud team owners always believed in the potential and growth of EPL and they must be mighty pleased this season.
EPL will return next year, and they have some bigger plans, which have already been put in motion. Sharing his thoughts on the same Aamir added, “The future of sports & media is very exciting. We have barely scratched the surface. There is so much to do and we would like to be the pioneers and leaders in Nepal when it comes to innovation. Since so much of our traffic is coming from international markets, the next can definitely be a world-class streaming app, perhaps on the lines of Hotstar, a native fantasy league, NFT trading of EPL moments amongst others. We all at EPL are super excited about the future editions. Watch this space for more.”
08 October 2021
07 October 2021
07 October 2021
Live Streaming (Nepal)
Official Broadcaster (Nepal)