Binod Bhandari, the name that resonates with cricket enthusiasts in Nepal and beyond, is a remarkable cricketer known for his explosive batting and occasional wicket-keeping skills. Born on January 25, 1990, he has carved his niche in the cricketing world, becoming a pivotal figure in Nepalese cricket.
The Debut that Sealed His Fate
Binod Bhandari’s international journey commenced with a bang in 2009 when he represented Nepal against Kuwait in the ACC Twenty20 Cup. In a match where victory seemed distant, Binod emerged as the hero by smashing a last-ball six. This six not only tied the match but also led to Nepal’s triumph in the subsequent bowl-out. Binod became an instant crowd favorite, setting the stage for his cricketing career.
Silent Consistency and Explosive Arrival
Following his spectacular debut, Binod Bhandari’s presence in the national team remained relatively low-key until he made an explosive arrival in the 2013 ACC Twenty20 Cup semi-final against the UAE. Two towering sixes from his bat propelled Nepal to its maiden final in this tournament.
However, it was his electrifying performance in the final of the National Twenty20 that caught everyone’s attention. Representing Nepal Army Club, Binod played a crucial role in ending APF Club’s dominance in domestic cricket, a testament to his power-packed batting.
The “Dilscoop” That Echoed Globally
Binod Bhandari’s audacious shot selection and fearless approach to batting made him a spectacle on the cricket field. During Nepal’s successful 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign, he played a shot that left spectators and experts in awe. Described as one of the best shots ever seen in cricket, Binod ramped a delivery over his forehead for a six, defying personal safety. This iconic shot earned him accolades and recognition from cricketing authorities worldwide.
His contribution in that match against Papua New Guinea, where he scored an unbeaten 51 off 23 deliveries, including six colossal sixes, highlighted his prowess as a batsman.
Consistent Performances on the International Stage
Binod Bhandari’s consistency in batting reflected in his performances during various tournaments. In the 2014 Asian Games, he scored 53 runs at an average of 53. His unbeaten 43 off just 31 balls against Bermuda during the 2014 ICC World Cricket League Division Three earned him the Man of the Match award.
His contributions extended to the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two, where he scored 144 runs in six innings with an average of 28.80, including a significant half-century against Kenya.
Venturing Abroad and ODI Debut
In February 2015, Binod ventured to Sri Lanka, representing the Kalutura Physical Culture Club in the Emerging Trophy Tournament, a three-day cricket competition.
His journey continued as he made his One Day International (ODI) debut for Nepal against the United Arab Emirates on January 25, 2019, marking a significant milestone in his cricketing career.
Triumphs and Central Contract
Binod Bhandari’s contributions to Nepal’s cricket continued to be acknowledged. He played a vital role in Nepal’s squad for the 2019-20 Singapore Tri-Nation Series and 2019-20 Oman Pentangular Series. His quick-fire 58 not out against Hong Kong in the Pentangular Series played a pivotal role in securing victory for Nepal.
In November 2019, he made his first-class debut against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) during the MCC’s tour of Nepal. His performances led to his inclusion in Nepal’s squad for the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Binod Bhandari’s journey in cricket exemplifies his dedication, consistency, and fearlessness in the face of challenges. His explosive batting style and memorable shots have left an indelible mark on Nepalese cricket, making him a source of inspiration for aspiring cricketers. His central contract with the Cricket Association of Nepal in September 2020 is a testament to his enduring commitment to the sport he loves.