Team India players Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya as well as coach Rahul Dravid were invited into the Nepal dressing room after the two sides faced off in the Asia Cup 2023 Group A game on Monday, September 4. Kohli, Pandya and Dravid felicitated Nepali cricketers for their spirited show during the two games of the Asia Cup, as they bowed out of the tournament following a 10-wicket defeat at the hands of India.
Competing in the Asia Cup for the first time in their history, Nepal suffered a hefty 238-run defeat to Pakistan in the opening game and thus they bowed out without winning any game.
Despite being on the losing side, there were plenty of promising displays from Nepali players and their efforts were commemorated as they got medals from Indian cricketers Kohli and Pandya as well as Indian coach Dravid.
It was a wonderful gesture from the Indian team which was also appreciated by Nepal Cricket as they thanked the BCCI on social media while sharing the video of Indian players giving medals to the Rohit Paudel-led unit.
“In the world of cricket, heroes rise not only through their batting and bowling, but also through their sportsmanship and character. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the @BCCI @imVkohli @hardikpandya7, and the extraordinary Indian cricket team for the time together,” read the caption of Nepal Cricket’s post on X.
In the video, Nepal coach Monty Desai appreciated his players as Sompal Kami received his medal from Hardik, after smashing 48 runs while Kohli gave the medal to Aasif Sheikh, who smashed a fifty and was the leading run-getter for his side on the day with his 58-run knock. Desai also acknowledged Sheikh’s admiration for Kohli as his hero.
Dipendra Singh also received a medal from Indian coach Rahul Dravid for his efforts in the field and his batting, after which both sides shared a laugh as there were some jokes being made in the ceremony.
Riding on performances from Sompal and Aasif, Nepal were able to post a challenging total of 230 runs during a rain-hit clash having been invited to bat first. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill waltzed their way to the revised total of 145 runs after a rain delay forced the match to be reduced to 23 overs as India came out to chase.
With the win, India sealed their place in the Super 4 stage and will take on Pakistan on September 4 in the next round of Asia Cup 2023.