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Tiger Tops announces closure of Elephant Polo

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NAWALPARASI — Tiger Tops, the organiser of the annual International Elephant Polo Competition, has announced that it would stop hosting the event from this year to support the movement against animal cruelty.

With this, the 35-years long elephant games, which is played every winter on a grass field in Meghauli, Chitwan, will be closed forever. The first games were played on a grass airfield in Meghauli.

Elephant polo, which is played by driving elephants using trainers called mahouts, was first introduced in Nepal in 1982 after James Manclark, a scion of horse polo, started the pachyderm version of the polo with fellow enthusiast Jim Edwards.

In the same year, the World Elephant Polo Association was formed at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in the then Royal Chitwan National Park in the southwest of Nepal.

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The sticks used in the game are made of bamboo and have a standard polo mallet on the end. This unusual game had been attracting hordes of foreigners in the jungle safari destination of Chitwan.

Tiger Tops has lately been actively supporting the international movement against animal cruelty. Last July, it stopped elephant-back safaris in a bid to end animal suffering.

Tiger Tops, which has been operating Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge in Nawalparasi, believes the termination of events will not affect prospects of wildlife tourism.

Since Tiger Tops was established before 50 years, it has been pioneering environmentally responsible tourism in Nepal. It took the first steps to establish national parks in Nepal n the 1960s, and shoot tigers with cameras instead of rifles.

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Nepal defeats Thailand in opening match

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KATHMANDU — Nepal defeated Thailand by 134 runs in the Group A opening match of the ACC U-16 Eastern Region Tournament at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok on Monday.

Nepal won the toss and scored a total of 179 runs in the allotted 50 overs in the Group A match played at Terdthai Cricket Ground, Bangkok.

In reply, Thailand was bowled out for paltry 46 runs in 19.3 overs after Nepal’s Narayan Joshi claimed five wickets.

Joshi gave Nepal an early breakthrough when he bowled Thiraphat Konthong for a duck in second over and claimed two scalps in the fourth over dismissing skipper Kongkidakon Rueangrotchanchai and Phiriyapong Shanchuai in the first and fourth balls respectively.

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Similarly, Chiraphong Liangwichian was run out in the fifth over as Thailand were reduced to 4-4 before Joshi bowled Patiphan Satphanit (two) in the eighth over.

Joshi then Kittiphat Daorueang (3) caught by Ajay Kumar Loniya in the 10th over to complete his five-wicket haul as Thailand lost first six wickets with just 21 runs on the board.

Thailand were then reduced to 23-9 after Surya Tamang claimed two wickets and Nikhil Kumar Singh claimed one.

Nepal made a positive start to the innings with its opening duo Kushal Malla and Rajan Magar creating a 33-run partnership for the first wicket. Malla made 13-ball eight whereas Magar scored 17 runs facing 18 balls.

But, Nepal came under pressure after losing the third and fourth number batsmen Bishal Bikram KC (5) and Rit Gautam (16).

Trith Raj Das, who came to bat at fifth number, rescued the innings smashing 57-ball 39. He was supported by middle-order batsman Sunil Bhandari who made 23 runs in 33 deliveries. Das built a 36-run partnership with Bhandari for the fifth wicket.

Similarly, Pratis GC contributed 12 runs while Nikhil Kumar Singh made six runs. Kokiad Chatwong was pick of the Thai bowling as he bagged three wickets.  Kongkidakon Rueangrotchanchai and Chiraphong Liangwichian added two wickets each.

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Thiraphat Konthong and Sarawut Maliwan claimed one wicket each for Thailand.

Host Thailand’s batting owe continued with Kongkidakon Rueangrotchanchai becoming fourth batsman to be dismissed for a duck as he was run out after just three ball.

Kokiad Chatwong was the top scorer for Thai team with 11 runs. He was also the only batsman to touch double-digit figure for the host.

Surya Tamang claimed two wickets for Nepal while Nikhil Kumar Singh and Bishal Bikram KC added one wicket each.

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