Cricket - News - May 11, 2021

Who is Kushal Bhurtel, first player to make half-centuries in his first three men’s T20Is

Before 17 April, nobody knows who is Kushal Bhurtel . He had not played an official international match for Nepal before that . Now his name is nominated for ICC’s Men’s Player of the Month.

Right-hander batsman, Bhurtel has long been touted for success in Nepal. In 2016, he played in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, and the following year he was a part of the Nepal outfit that played the USA in a 50-over match that was not given List A status. In 2019, he made his List A debut, playing for Nepal in the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Sides Cup.

Kushal Bhurtel made his T20I debut against the Netherlands at Kirtipur Ground Kathmandu. He marked the occasion with a 46-ball 62 punctuated by five fours and five sixes. Given the chance to impress in the absence of the injured Paras Khadka, he took it with both hands.

The 62 was followed by an unbeaten 61, and another 62, as he became the first player to make half-centuries in each of his first three men’s T20Is.

He fell for 16 in his fourth outing and that turned out to be a blip as he finished the tournament in style, scoring 77 in a final Nepal would win by 142 runs against the Netherlands.

With 278 runs at 69.8 for the tournament, 106 more than the next highest scorer, Bhurtel was an uncontroversial choice for Player of the Series. An incredible 192 of those runs came in boundaries.

The form continued a resurgence for Bhurtel, whose game has gone to a new level on Nepal’s domestic circuit of late.

It is a hot streak the cricket-mad nation will be hopeful he can continue in the years to come, with Bhurtel’s own ambitions lying with the success of the team. ( ICC )

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