The organisers of Nepal’s biggest franchise T20 event announced on Wednesday that Pubudu Dassanayake, former coach of Nepal, will take the reins of the Bhaiwarahawa franchise in what is understood to be a long-term contract.

During his time at the helm of the Nepal national men, the side won the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three. The dream run in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh was also under him, as he oversaw the team just miss out on progressing to the main group by the slimmest of margins, after defeating Afghanistan and Hong Kong in the group matches.

He left the Nepal role not long after the 2014 event and went on to the coach the USA men’s team all the way from World Cricket League Division 4 to ODI status and a place in the Cricket World Cup League 2. He left USA Cricket abruptly in July.

I am really excited about joining the Bhairahawa Gladiators’ side! Nepal has always been very close to my heart and I am thankful for this opportunity to be back here and contribute to Nepali cricket in whichever way I can” former Sri Lankan and Canadian Wicketkeep Dassanayake said of his appointment.

“We are honoured to have such a legendary figure as our head coach,” said Gladiators owner Aditya Sanghai. “I strongly believe that Mr Pubudu will be a great asset to not just our franchise but also the entire Nepali Cricket fraternity. I’m sure that his presence will help nurture our cricketing talents in a manner that will later translate to the National Team’s strength. Welcome back Pubudu!”

Sharad Vesawakar, Nepal star and Gladiators captain was excited at the prospect of being coached by Dassanayake again.

“Pubudu Sir’s appointment as the head coach of the national team proved to be the turning point in Nepali cricket’s history. I’m delighted that a legend who has contributed so much to Nepali Cricket and helped transform so many Nepali Cricketers like me is going to be a part of our side this season. We have had two runner’s up trophies in the past two seasons. Perhaps it is going to be Pubudu Sir that will take us over the finish line this year and make us champions,” Vesawkar concluded.

The next edition of the Everest Premier League begins in late February, building on the successes of previous editions.

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