Nepal players call off boycott
The boycott by Nepal's national cricketers has been called off after the constitution of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. The decision to form the planning and monitoring committee was taken on Wednesday night at a meeting between the board and the players facilitated by Nepal's sports ministry and sports council. The committee will have five members - a representative each from CAN, the sports ministry and the sports council, along with the captain and the coach, Pubudu Dassanayake.
"The committee will plan the development of cricket, make suggestions to CAN and then monitor the progress of these plans," Ashok Nath Pyakuryal, the secretary of CAN, told ESPNcricinfo. "They will look at suggesting ways to develop cricket, restructure domestic cricket in the country and once their recommendations have been submitted to the board, the sports ministry and the sports council will supervise the implementation of these suggestions."
Pyakuryal also said that the other major demands made by the players at the time of the boycott - related to payment of dues and medical aid to allrounder Prithu Baskota - had already been resolved.
The advisory committee was seen as a middle ground in the negotiations as the board, considered to be the highest cricket administrative authority in Nepal, could not be dissolved under the existing laws of the country.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka, who had earlier stated the boycott was prompted by a need for better accountability in the administration, said he was excited that players had been given a say within the system.
"It's the first time for players to be involved in the decision-making process and it's a great initiative," Khadka said. "It will help us create a base for the future and help the next generation of cricketers. The committee will meet regularly and will also be looking at the overall aspects of the game, including administration and finance."
Khadka also expressed hope that the cricketers would soon have a contract system, which would also benefit the regional players, and that the board would appoint full-time professionals, like a CEO, over the next year.
Nepal's national cricketers had decided to boycott the national one-day tournament, which began on April 9 and was meant to be a selection trial for the Asian Cricket Council's Premier League tournament, scheduled to begin on May 1. The deadline for submitting the squad was April 10 but Pyakuryal said CAN had sought an extension and would select a squad for the tournament soon.
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo