Nepali Times
Nepal’s sporting season begins

With the end of the Dasain and Tihar festivities and the onset of winter, the Valley's sportsmen are gearing up for another round of sports tournaments. From lawn tennis to golf to cricket, the racquets, clubs and bats are out of the closets and being readied for battle.

With leaders of the tourism industry trying to establish Nepal as a sports destination, the theme seems to be well underway. Golf especially seems to be catching up with the capital's upper class. In the month of November alone Nepalis golfers will be putting away at three major tournaments and one amateur game. The first in the series is the famous Grouse International Shotgun Foursomes Golf Tournament to be played on the 4 November at the Le Meridien Gokarna Golf Resort. Organised in honour of Queen Aishwarya's birthday, the tournament will have amateur golfers teeing off to make it to St Andrews in Scotland, the Mecca of golf for the next Famous Grouse. The annual event is being sponsored by Highland Distillers Brands Ltd, Scotland. Favourites are last year's winner Tashi Ghale and runner-up Pradeep B. Rana.

Professionals have set their eyes on a different course. Surya Tobacco Company, in its effort to promote golf in Nepal, will be holding three major tournaments. The first in line is the Surya Nepal Western Open to be held at the Himalayan Golf Course in Pokhara on 10-11 November. Next is the Surya Nepal Eastern Open to be held at the Dharan Country Club on 17-18 November. These two tourneys are only open to Nepali pros and carry a purse of Rs 50,000 each. The last in the series is the Surya Nepal Masters carrying a prize money of Rs 1.2 million, to be held from 22-25 November at the Gokarna Golf Club. Around 100 professional golfers including 16 from Nepal and 80 from India are expected to participate in this mega event. The favourite is last year's winner, Rohtas Singh of India.

On the cricketing scene, Soaltee Crown Plaza along with Surya Tobacco Company, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), and Zee Sports Channel is organising the Soaltee Super Sixes 2000 to be held from 3-5 November. This tournament will bring together board members of big corporate houses, along with diplomats from the embassies of Britain, India, and Pakistan, as well as our own hardy British Gurkhas. The tournament in its distinctive six-sided format designed by CAN is being held for the second year in a row. The British Embassy and Kantipur Publications are the defending champions and runner-up respectively.
Tennis fans too have a tournament to look out for. The All Nepal Lawn Tennis Association, in collaboration with Carlsberg, is coming up with the 3rd Carlsberg Open Tennis Tournament 2000. The matches will be held 18-26 November at the Satdobato Sports Complex. The total prize money is Rs 92,905, with the men's singles winner taking home Rs 16,940.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)