Sompal Kami, born on February 2, 1996, is a name synonymous with Nepalese cricket. As a right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler, he has etched his name in the annals of the sport. Kami was among the elite eleven cricketers to represent Nepal in their inaugural One Day International (ODI) match against the Netherlands in August 2018. His cricketing journey is marked by incredible feats, including becoming the first Nepalese bowler to secure a five-wicket haul in an ODI. Known for his express pace, Kami’s delivery once clocked above 140 km/h during a match against Afghanistan in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20.
Early Life and Cricketing Roots
Sompal Kami hails from Gulmi in western Nepal but spent his formative years in India. His cricketing journey began in earnest as a passionate cricket lover. He actively participated in various school-level tournaments, with one of his notable stints being the captain of the Indian Premier Corporate League team. In 2013, Kami returned to Nepal and continued his cricketing career. Today, he is a prominent figure in Nepalese cricket, a testimony to his dedication.
Kami’s personal life also reflects his commitment to cricket. He is married to Prativa Ghimire, further emphasizing his devotion to the sport.
Domestic and T20 Franchise Success
Sompal Kami’s rise to prominence can be traced back to his exceptional performances at the domestic level. His entry into the Kathmandu Region No. 3 team through the Nepali Cricket Fan Club marked a turning point in his career. During the U-19 National Championship, Kami played a pivotal role, breaking records with two centuries and incredible bowling figures.
In an unofficial tournament, the Sagarmatha Cement Journey to World Cup tournament in December 2013 in Kathmandu, Kami emerged as the leading wicket-taker with ten wickets from four matches. His stellar performances captured the attention of Nepal’s coach, Pubudu Dassanayake, and secured his place in the national squad.
Kami’s first-class debut came in December 2015 when he represented Saracens Sports Club in the 2015–16 Premier League Tournament in Sri Lanka.
In June 2019, he was selected to play for the Winnipeg Hawks franchise team in the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament, showcasing his talents on the international T20 stage.
Sompal Kami’s international debut for Nepal was against the United Arab Emirates in January 2014. His performances earned him a place in Nepal’s squad for the 2014 World Cup Qualifier held in New Zealand.
During the 2014 World Cup Qualifier, Kami played six List A matches and took eight wickets, demonstrating his prowess as a bowler. In the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, he played three Twenty20 International matches and claimed four wickets, with the best figures of 2/13.
One of the standout moments in his career came when he took five wickets for 47 against Malaysia in the 2014 ACC Premier League, achieving his best bowling figures. He emerged as the tournament’s best bowler, picking up a total of 15 wickets. Kami’s remarkable performance extended to the 2014 Asian Games, where he took five wickets at an astonishing average of 4.00 and an exceptional economy rate of 2.50. His contributions didn’t go unnoticed, as he was the only Nepalese player chosen in the Select XI of the tournament by the Asian Cricket Council.
In the first Twenty20 International of Nepal’s series against Hong Kong in November 2014, Kami played a memorable innings as a batsman, scoring 40 runs from 31 balls. His impressive performance set a new record in all Twenty20 matches for the highest score by a number ten batsman.
He continued to excel, becoming the leading Nepalese wicket-taker in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia, picking up 11 wickets in six matches.
Continued Achievements and Recognition
Kami’s consistent performances led to his inclusion in Nepal’s squad for the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament. In the match against the UAE, he demonstrated his bowling prowess, taking 4/30 to restrict the opponent to just 114 runs.
His selection in Nepal’s squad for their ODI series against the Netherlands in July 2018 marked a significant moment in the country’s cricketing history. These matches marked Nepal’s first ODI appearances since gaining ODI status during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Kami’s journey is characterized by achievements, dedication, and unrelenting determination. He has been a trailblazer for Nepalese cricket, inspiring future generations of cricketers in Nepal and beyond. His impact on the sport is undeniable, and his journey continues to unfold with the promise of more remarkable moments on the cricket field.