CAN in talks to hire Australian Leane as CEO

KATHMANDU: The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is in talks with Bill Leane to bring in the Australian administrator as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

A highly-placed source said the cricket governing body in Nepal has been in touch with Leane‚ who himself showed interests in taking over the job. “Excited with the recent success of Nepali cricket‚ we want to keep the momentum going. And hiring an CEO is just another step in our bid towards professionalism‚” said the source in condition of anonymity.

“Leane is a highly qualified cricket administrator and he has all the abilities to take Nepali cricket to a higher level with different approach and innovations‚” the source added. Leane — former CEO of Papua New Guinea (PNG) — is regarded as one of the best administrators among the ICC Associate nations.

CAN‚ however‚ is yet to finalise the deal with Leane who is currently in his hometown in Victoria. Leane was supposed to visit Nepal during the ACC Twenty20 Cup that was held in Kathmandu in April but he refrained citing personal reasons. “Once we approve his name‚ Leane will be here for further talks‚” the source added. The source‚ however‚ said Leane had already started making plans for Nepali cricket and would present them before the CAN officials‚ provided he receives green signal from Nepal.

Under Leane‚ PNG won numerous ICC awards‚ the last two being Pepsi Global Award for Best Junior Development Programme in 2011 and 2010. He also won the Pepsi Global Award for Best Marketing and Event in 2009 and 2010.

After leaving PNG in November 2011‚ Leane worked as the CEO of Norwood Football Club in Australia for one year.

The appointment of a new CEO — and that too having the vast experience as Leane does — is believed to be an icing on the cake for Nepali cricket which is in its golden period. Nepal are currently in Division-II and in January next year‚ they could qualify for World Cup if they finish as the top two teams in the Qualifiers. If the team doesn’t qualify for World Cup and end up gaining one-day status which could be achieved by rounding up in the top four finishes‚ the presence of CEO would be instrumental for Nepal in maintaining the momentum.

CAN — run by voluntary officials with almost all the members having their own personal businesses — has often come under fire for not having a full-time CEO who could guide Nepali cricket towards professionalism with certain vision.

First Published in The Himalayan Times by Aadarsha Dhakal