Nepal became the 27th side to be granted an ODI status    AFP
Nepal became the 27th side to be granted an ODI status AFP

Nepal, recently granted full one-day international status, received another boost on Monday after being invited to contest a T20 tournament with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Netherlands at Lord’s. The Nepalese — who now have both ODI and T20 international status — will play the tournament on July 29, the MCC announced. Nepal, who also played at Lord’s in 2016 when they beat the MCC by 41 runs, gained ODI status following their performance at the recent World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

The appeal of cricket in Nepal has increased dramatically in recent years, with the national team having been awarded T20I status by the ICC in 2014, before competing in the World Twenty20 later that year. It will be the first time that the Netherlands have played at Lord’s since competing in the ECB’s 40-over competition in 2012.

Their most famous day at the Home of Cricket came in the opening match of the 2009 World Twenty20, when they shocked hosts England with a four-wicket victory. MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said he hoped to put up a side that would attract a decent crowd.

“We expect to be able to field an MCC side with some big names which will certainly make for a competitive day of cricket,” said Stephenson.

Nepal captain Paras Khadka said he was ecstatic his side would get to play at the historic ground. “It gives me immense pleasure that Nepal will play at the Home of the Cricket again this year with MCC and the Netherlands,” he said. “Playing at Lord’s is always special and we are really looking forward to it.

“I urge all cricket lovers, and especially the British Nepalese diaspora, to come and support the event and the Nepal team.”