Less than a day after Nepal were officially accepted back as members of the ICC, Paras Khadka has stepped down as captain.
As well as playing duties, the long-serving batsman has carried out a number of administrative responsibilities in the three years since the Cricket Association of Nepal was first deemed unfit for purpose.
The burden rarely showed in his performances. Khadka led Nepal to their first one-day international series win, in UAE last season, and last month became the first Nepal batsman to score a Twenty20 International century.
Although Nepal missed out on a chance to play for qualification for next year’s T20 World Cup, Khadka remained a highly popular leader.
However, he announced his decision to step down via Twitter on Tuesday.
“Great to know that the suspension of Nepal cricket has been lifted, and I would like to wish the new committee to work for the betterment of Nepal cricket, players and its stake holders,” Khadka wrote.
“I have hereby decided to resign from my post as the captain of Nepal cricket team. Jai Nepal.”
The timing of the decision is surprising, following on so swiftly from the announcement that Zimbabwe and Nepal have been readmitted as ICC members, after a board meeting in Dubai.
Nepal were accepted back “on a conditional basis”, for the first time since being suspended in 2016 for breaching ICC rules prohibiting government interference, and requiring free and fair elections.
“The election of a 17-member Central Working Committee for the Cricket Association of Nepal were completed earlier this month and paved the way for the re-admittance of the CAN,” the ICC said in a statement.
Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said: “Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for [CAN] to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding.”