back icon


Mulpani Cricket Ground: How fans, CAN united for their own ‘MCG’

Last updated on 15 Aug 2023 | 11:23 AM
Google News IconFollow Us
Mulpani Cricket Ground: How fans, CAN united for their own ‘MCG’

April 29, 2023 marked a historic day in Nepal Cricket’s history as it gave the world its 216th ODI venue

For years, Nepal had to make do with just one ground – the Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground, which hosted its first official international fixture in 2019. Since then, the venue has seen as many as 18 T20 Internationals (T20I) and 25 One-Day Internationals (ODI) being played here. Moreover, there have been as many as five Women T20Is played here too.

With the ACC Premier Cup, which is the qualifiers for the Asia Cup 2023, set to be held in Nepal, the board was handed the task of getting one more stadium ready in time for the tournament, or else they would lose the hosting rights to Qatar.

About 40-50 days ahead of the tournament, the wheels were set in motion by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) to get the Mulpani Cricket Ground in Kathmandu ready for the biggest cricketing event in their history.

With limited funding at their disposal, for CAN to pull this off in very less time was an uphill task. That is where they sought help from their neighbours. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) sent a curator to Nepal to prepare a good pitch, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) then handed out a couple of equipments – a roller and a super sopper - to further help Nepal’s cause.

However, the biggest help was provided by the passionate cricket fans of Nepal, who often monitored the progress and helped with their time and manpower to speed up the process of having the stadium match ready.

CAN treasurer Roshan Kumar Singh played a pivotal role in getting the upper ground at Mulpani up to international standards.

“About 55 days ahead of the ACC Premier Cup, Nepal were playing in the League 2. At that point, the entire board members had shown confidence in me, saying if there is anyone who could get the job done, it has to be Roshan, otherwise, it is impossible. The ACC members said that they would host the tournament in Qatar. I thought when the board and the ACC trusts me, I thought I could do it,” Singh explained in a chat with

“There was some fear as well thinking if I could finish the work in 45-50 career too was at stake. While it was a challenge, it was an opportunity for me to prove I can do it. If we do good work, the fans of cricket...this was the biggest tournament Nepal was going to organise. 

"So, the entire board gave me the responsibility. Looking at the condition of the ground, I was not sure if I could actually do it. Thanks to God, the fans' passion and the team of groundstaff, who are like family to me, we achieved it.”

One of the fans who helped out is Sanjay Dharel, who is also the founding member of Nepali cricket supporters Society on Facebook which has close to four lakh members. He highlights some of the challenges faced in the process. 

“The ground that was made, there was nothing other than mud. The ACC said Nepal needs to have two grounds for hosting the tournament. Nepal did not have the money, and we had only one ground with ODI status - the TU cricket Ground,” he said.

“It was an empty space, with no other facility. So, for that, the ACC said that we need another ground for the 10-team Asia Cup Qualifier, which needs to have a dressing room, the pitch needs to be good, the outfield needs to be good, and there were security issues. Dining room, washroom facilities...getting all these done was a challenge. Roshan Kumar Singh [CAN Treasurer], led the operation.”

What was the exact role of the fans in getting the stadium up and running?

“The fans' role in this is purely monitoring the progress. I used to visit regularly to check up on the work done and help out wherever needed. For financial support, the board used old stuff and did the work with minimum funds. The fans did not contribute financially as CAN funded it. We finished the work in 45 days.”

The ground that hosted the ACC Premier Cup was the upper Mulpani, but there have been cricketing activities in the lower Mulpani as well. Firstly, it is not owned by CAN but belongs to the Nepal Sports Council, which comes under the government’s purview. 

It is predominantly used for practice. In fact, before the Nepal team went to the ACC Emerging Nation’s Cup in Sri Lanka, they trained there and was also used by the women’s side before their tour of Malaysia. The entire cost of doing up the upper Mulpani ground is estimated to be about 1.18 crore Nepalese Rupee (NPR).

The treasurer also confirmed Mulpani will also host the T20 World Cup Asia Regional Final, an eight-team event in October-November this year. The top two sides will make it directly to the T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies next year.

“Both Mulpani and TU Ground will host the tournament. We are working on the pitches in Mulpani - 6 and 7. The ACC Premier Cup that happened, five pitches were damaged. We are working on it. We are touching up the office at the TU Ground as well. We are preparing for the tournament, Roshan Singh said.

All the time and effort finally paid off as Mulpani Cricket Ground became the 216th venue to host an ODI on April 29, 2023 as UAE took on Oman in the ACC Premier Cup semi-final. The venue also hosted other matches in the tournament, but they were classified as List A as at least one of the two competing teams did not have an ODI status.

For Nepal, the fact that they had a new international ground to play their trade on was perhaps the second-best news to emerge out of the tournament as they beat UAE in the final in Kirtipur to book their place in the Asia Cup 2023, where they will take on India and Pakistan.

Their rise over the last few months is well documented, especially since Monty Desai took over as head coach. Nepal have been overshadowed by their more successful neighbours in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and to a certain extent UAE and Oman as well.

Their time has perhaps finally arrived. 


Related Article