This Saturday, Nepali cricket fans would be delighted to witness the 63 over game between Nepal Red and Nepal Blue, a tribute match in the name of late Phillip Hughes. This will also be the last match for Nepalese veteran all-rounder and former captain Binod Das who will be retiring officially from international cricket and is leading the blue side.
Though, only three Australia players: Ryan Carter, Tim Anderson, and Matthew Elliot will be playing the match it is unlikely to lower the buzz among the Nepalese fans. Nepalese fans were very extremely sentimental when Philip Hughes died and this match easily holds a lot of massive to us.
Also the last time we had seen their heroes play infront of them was in ACC Elite Cup 2013. Almost after two years we are getting our boys play in our home soil. And we don’t know when will be be able to witness another match.
More importantly, fans will be saying goodbye to one of Nepal’s finest all-rounder, inspirational figure, a quality leader, and unseen figure behind the development of cricket in Nepal playing for the last time in the country- Binod Das. Das who played for Nepal for more than a decade is one of the finest player Nepal cricket has ever produced. Making his debut for the national team at a tender age of 18 in 2001 ACC Trophy, Das has led Nepal to many victories as a player and as a captain as well. He led Nepal between 2004 and 2008 before current Skipper Paras Khadka took his role. He has got 76 wickets to his name from 68 50-over matches.
Das who is considered one of the most successful fast bowlers in Nepal had the ability to swing the ball both ways. Das last played for Nepal in ICC World Cricket League Division 4 in Malaysia. He was left of the squad after he failed to prove his fitness. He has been pursuing coaching since then and was appointed assistant coach of Nepal national team for ICC WCL Division 2 few months back. He is also the head coach of National Cricket Academy (NCA).
Announcing his retirement, the emotional Das said, “Nothing gave me more pleasure than playing in the field. It’s been absolute pleasure representing my country. I feel glad having represented my country for such a long time. Wearing the red-blue jersey was phenomenal, every time it kicked me inside. Still I believe, I can contribute to Nepal cricket and I will continue doing that outside the field.”
“I always wanted to be the best and that is the reason I always wore that No.1 Jersey. Thanks everyone for your support. The last thing I would wish is-please make my exit grand,” Das said.
The Phillip Hughes tribute match was a big step for Cricket Association of Nepal(CAN) and it has received tremendous support from Cricket Australia as well as Nepalese corporate sector. Chairman of Cricket Australia, Wally Edwards will be attending the match at Tribhuwan University Cricket Ground.
Das’ retirement announced has added one more star to the already grand match making this match a tribute to two heroes. Tickets for the match can be bought online at eSewa.