Nepal won the ACC Premier League 2006 three-day cricket championship after UAE failed to gather enough points from its last two games against Singapore and Malaysia to defend the title.
Nepal has earned 95.5 points from four games while second-placed UAE has 84.5 points. Singapore (69 pts), Malaysia (66.5 pts) and Hong Kong (60 pts) are the other teams in the event.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No final will be taking place for this tournament,Ã¢â‚¬Â Asian Cricket CouncilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Events Organizer KK Haridas informed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“As per the points earned, Nepal is at the top and hence it is the champion.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nepal have proved worthy winners of the Premier LeagueÃ¢â‚¬Â, he added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They have been consistent challengers to UAE for three-day supremacy and though Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore have all had their moments ultimately Nepal and UAE have played the most consistent cricket. Nepal have been the only team in Asia to ever defeat UAE, which they did in 2005Ã¢â‚¬Â
Defending champions UAE could have won the championship hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t their game against Singapore, scheduled for March 2-4 been cancelled due to rain. They only received 10 points from that match before going into the last match of the event against Malaysia with no hopes of retaining the championship.
UAE made a quick work against Malaysia defeating them in two days by an innings and 61 runs and earned 30 points to go into second position.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“To win the tournament played by top five non-Test playing Asian nations, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big thing,Ã¢â‚¬Â NepalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s captain Binod Das commented. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But I am little bit sad that the victory didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t create the buzz as it should have.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Binod expressed disappointment towards ACC for not giving the event the due credit. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This tournament should have been taken seriously by all because I believe this event is better than the ACC Trophy,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. The Premier League, (previously the Fast Track Countries Tournament) is to be replaced in the coming season by the ACC Twenty20 Cup for the top ten ACC countries according to ACC performance-based rankings.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were on the second position last year,Ã¢â‚¬Â he added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And I am happy and satisfied by the way we played.Ã¢â‚¬Â