By Pramod Khanal:
The boundary Paras Khadka hit off Steven Taylor’s ball to win a World Cricket League Division 4 Championship title for Nepal was a perfect closer to what had been an outstanding tournament for a Nepalese Cricket Team in Malaysia. The eight days between the first game against Singapore and the final game against the United States of America were the best eight days in the history of Nepal Cricket.
In those eight days, Nepal scored 911 runs loosing only 27 wickets, and winning all 6 games against 5 different opponents. Also the fact that there were 6 different individual players awarded the Man of the Match in those six games clearly shows it was a team effort. Basanta Regmi’s 21 wickets, which won him the Man of the Series award, Subash Khakurel’s 114 against USA, Anil Mandal’s 113 against Denmark, and Shakti Gauchan’s bowling figure of 10-8-2-3 against Malaysia, are some of the many memorable performances by Nepali players throughout the tournament.
What does this win mean to us and where do we go from here? When I say “we”, I am referring to the fans, the players, the coaches, the administrators, and our country. Cricket is more than just a game for us. When Nepal started playing competitive cricket at the international level, like any other emerging cricketing nation, we had one goal in mind, which was to play at the highest level among the best countries. Our country does not have a cricketing legacy like those that have been playing cricket for over hundred years, but that does not take away the fact that we can build one.
Success does not come easy; it takes a lot of hard work. We don’t lack the will to play and the will to win. We have seen the talents, and with the hard work, we can only build on it. It would be naïve of us to expect a vertical progress from our team, there will be bumps on the road but what we saw in those eight days gave us a hope that we can overcome those bumps. We are closer to our dream than we assumed.
We definitely overcame the obstacle this time around winning the Division 4 title and advancing to Division 3. The show we witnessed was a work of years and we cannot appreciate enough the hard work put by many individuals who work behind the scene. Coach Roy Dias, I believe we should all thank him and give him credit for laying the foundation for Nepali cricket. He worked for years and we would probably not have been at the level we are now without his contributions. Coach Pubudu Dassanayake, he has successfully built on from where coach Dias left off. The work he has done with the players, and the results he has produced has been amazing so far and we can selfishly hope that he will keep on giving us and take us to newer heights. There are coaches at the different levels of the game and we should appreciate their effort. We should also thank the administrators at Cricket Association of Nepal, who are trying to do the best for Nepali Cricket and are making the right decisions. The players, who with their hard work and dedication made us proud and are willing to give everything they can to bring the joy of success to the people of Nepal. We should all acknowledge the work each individual has done to take Nepali Cricket to this level, and we should keep on supporting the team however we can.
Remember, it was just an episode; the show is not over yet. We are one step closer to our dream. Lets us all continue to support Nepali Cricket and continue to believe that we can become one of the best.
“The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.” -Mia Hamm