Nepal Cricket Opinion

Asia Cup: Opportunity for Nepali Colts to shine

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By Sushil Thapa, Fairfax, VA

There are opportunities galore for our youngsters who are dreaming of making it big in the world of cricket. With the opportunity comes the challenge, and they have shown to the world what they are capable of doing, time and time again.

The world got a true glimpse of our cricketers’ potential back in the 2002 ICC Under-19 World Cup held in New Zealand, following their stunning wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh. And they narrowly failed to advance to the super league stage.

However, they reached the Plate Final, and despite defeat to Zimbabwe they had done enough to deserve high praise from all quarters for what they achieved.

Four years later they went a notch further in the same competition held in Sri Lanka. They surprised the international cricketing community by winning the Plate Championship at the expense of New Zealand.

The win over the Kiwis was a stunner and convinced skeptics that the success in New Zealand was not a flash in the pan. That was not the end.
They repeated the feat in Ireland last year to finish behind Scotland and thus qualified for the final stage of the championship scheduled in Australia later this year. The youngsters played with great aplomb throughout the competition.

Besides, we have had success in other age groups as well, over the years. Whatever our cricketers have achieved to date has come through their commitment and sheer hard work. They have toiled and worked diligently to get where they are today.

Once again the youngsters are all geared up to take on another challenge in Malaysia. The ACC Under-19 Asia Cup provides them an ideal opportunity to show case their talent and what they are capable of doing.

They are up against two perennial powerhouses India and Pakistan. Malaysia is the fourth team in the competition. The boys have to play their best to have any chance in the tournament. In addition, it is imperative that they peak form individually and as a team.

Players must bear in mind they have nothing to lose against the Asian giants, and they need to play confidently, positively and with poise to make a real challenge for the championship title. In sports anything is possible.

I am confident we can do it. We have done it before, and I don’t see why it cannot be done again. I hope they come on top and deliver the goods when it matters.

It’s very discouraging to note despite the surge in popularity of cricket in the country and our accomplishments, nothing much seems to have changed.
Nepali cricket continues down its path of uncertain and rocky transition. Like any national sport association, politicization of Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has increased manifold, in recent years, and this has resulted in stagnation of the sport at all levels.

There are no indications that the current administration headed by Tanka Angbhunag is into serious business to turn things around. Like his predecessors, he has been long on words and short on action so far. What a shame.

Hats off to our cricketers for their sacrifice, patriotism and sticking with the game despite the most challenging and difficult circumstances imaginable.

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