June 17, 2012

Nepalese cricket

Dhoni bats for Nepal cricket

Cricinfo
MS Dhoni does his bit to promote cricket in Nepal, Kathmandu, June 16, 2012
MS Dhoni has been named the goodwill ambassador of Nepal cricket  © AFP
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The Indian team may have got a rare breather in a usually clogged international schedule, but MS Dhoni continues to be a busy man. Little more than a week after his visit to the border state of Jammu and Kashmir to meet members of the Indian army, he was off to Nepal to help raise the profile of cricket there. He is already the goodwill ambassador of the Indian army, and now he has been appointed the goodwill ambassador of Nepal cricket as well.

Nepal have long been one of the stronger non-Test Asian teams at the age-group level, and the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup last December again showed the game is a crowd-puller, though it lags behind football as the country's most popular sport.

"Cricket is very popular in the subcontinent but in Nepal it's an upcoming sport," Dhoni told reporters at Kathmandu's airport. "I am hoping Nepal will grow as a cricketing nation and we will see them in major tournaments."

Dhoni visited the Kirtipur Cricket Stadium on Saturday to spend some time with the Nepal Under-19 team, which is preparing for the U-19 Asia Cup next week. That was followed by a reception, organised by the Indian embassy and the Nepal cricket board, and a trip to the Pashupatinath temple on Sunday morning rounded off his trip.

The commitments don't end there though. Next, Dhoni flies back to Delhi for a sponsor's event on Sunday evening, which also features Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba. Not much of a break, this.

Keywords: Offbeat

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