For years gone by, our team has always been assosciated with the words like “potential” and “talent”. Every breakfast conversation around the non-elite cricket world would be associated Nepal with “what could have been” stories. The IFs and MAYBEs of the chats, rising hope and bubbling enthusiasm would inevitably settle down by a forgetable choke. The choke would often be a literal one – no one would be in a positon to describe it. So near yet so far seemed to be the perenial tagline of our team. Now, finally now, we are here and here to stay because this one is different.
The ebbs and flows of our cricket has brought about almost all type of emotions. From moments of cherish to memories we hope would perish, we have seen everything. We have seen our most flamboyant batsman taking unpopular decision. We have seen some outbursts of talents being succumbed by ordinary mortals. Yet, we are here, searching a new horizon, way beyond the clouded sky, far towards the seemingly unreachable destiny.
Once when I was a kid, my neighbor-brother said, “You know, I will not be surprised if we bundle ’em for 10, but trust me, I will throw a party if anyone of our batsman scores a century”. I remember him and wish he was here. Alas! like many other, he also took the “unpopular decision”. Being carried away is in a way Nepalese way of life but there is substance in today’s optimism because this one is different.
We have always heard and talked about beating South Africa and New Zealand in back-to-back matches at U-19 level. When you compare scorecards of those matches and the recent matches, even an eternal pessimist will, for once be optimistic. Agreed, our U-19 team has always had good result but never before or after it has reached same heights. If you have still not figured out, let me tell you, today’s national team is more or less the same of “that” U-19 team.. And you know it, this one’s different.
A person who has followed Nepalese cricket from close quarters will definitely tell you, this team has a different level of self-belief. Gone are the days, when we were the chokers of associate world. Now we can clear our throat and say “We nailed it!!!”. The very example that we were champions even after a shock-loss to Kuwait describes that we believe in ourselves like never before. For the first time in history, we have a clear distinction between U-19 and Senior Team. Of course few feature in both but its because they deserved it and not because the seats were vacant. So should I repeat it again, this one’s…….
Finally, we have fan base, excellent coaching support and media exposure like never before. One thing that has changed but not for good is politicizing the CAN. Hope the men that matter will not bring their Pocket Before Wicket; even if they dont know the meaning of Leg Before Wicket…..
Article by Sameer Niraula. Niraula is a student and a keen follower of Nepali Cricket.