Nepal Men, News

Bishal Patel: A flourishing left-arm pacer with a big ambition

Nepal is known as the hub for left-arm spinners. The country has produced numerous decent spinners from the past to the present. However, the country has struggled to develop a reliable and enduring left-arm fast bowler.

In modern-day cricket, every team eagerly seeks left-arm pacers to balance their bowling attack. Recently, Nepal has also been prioritizing the development of left-arm pacers, giving them increased importance and opportunities.

A total of five left-handed pacers have represented Nepal in either ODIs or T20Is, with Pratish GC being the only player to have featured in both formats. Avinash Karn and Amrit Bhattarai have played in T20Is, while Lalit Bhandari and Rijan Dhakal have featured in ODIs.

Bishal Patel, aged 21, from the Sarlahi district is working hard with the ultimate dream of representing Nepal and becoming the country’s most successful left-arm pacer. Patel, a regular member of the Madhesh Province Cricket Team in domestic cricket for quite some time, is a left-arm pacer who also bats left-handed and has a good batting ability.

Patel was named the best bowler of the recently concluded Saptari Premier League. He took 15 wickets in just seven innings, boasting an impressive economy of 5.05 and an average of 8.20. Additionally, he scored 85 runs while batting lower in the order.

Background:

Bishal Patel, who grew up in Malangwa, the headquarters of Sarlahi, was passionate about cricket from a young age. His enthusiasm for the sport led him to play with friends in his village, gradually transforming his passion into determination.

He even captained Padma Ratna Vidya Mandir in a school-level tournament, impressing everyone with his performance. However, due to a lack of strong financial conditions, it was challenging for him to advance to a higher level.

“My family supported me, but they were helpless due to our poor financial condition. I wasn’t very good academically, and I made cricket my everything. However, due to our condition, I had many sleepless nights. The good thing is that Madhav Karmacharya helped me secure local scholarships in various ways. Similarly, Siddhartha Yadav and my Uncle Raju Patel supported and motivated me to continue playing cricket”, Patel recalls his young days.

Age-level cricket for Nepal:

With various support, Bishal made it to the Madhesh Province U16 squad and was ready for the national team’s trial. His impressive performance led to his selection for the national team.

In 2019, Bishal represented Nepal U16 when he was selected for Nepal’s squad in the ACC U16 Eastern Region Tournament. Under the leadership of Bishal Bikram KC, the team emerged victorious and secured the title in Thailand.

Patel celebrates a wicket in the final

Patel was impressive throughout the tournament, especially with a new ball. He delivered an impressive performance in both the semifinal and final to help Nepal clinch the title. In both crucial matches, He picked up early wickets to ensure Nepal’s victory. The left-arm pacer grabbed four wickets against Malaysia U16 in the final.

Move to Kathmandu:

After representing Nepal at the U16 level, Bishal needed regular and proper training. As per him after a coordination from Madhav Karmacharya, He received a scholarship from the Great Himalayan Cricket Academy (GHCA) in Kathmandu and began training there. Given his financial situation, he was granted the opportunity to train at the Academy for free on a permanent basis.

Patel was a net bowler of Namibia and Scotland during their tour to Nepal in February 2023. “They needed a left-arm pacer, and I got the opportunity. I was thrilled that they were impressed with my skills. Training with such international stars was a dream come true for me, and I learned a lot,” Patel said about the experience.

Bishal Patel with Albie Morkel

Domestic Cricket:

Bishal made his debut for Madhesh Province against Nepal Police Club (4-0-8-1) during the Men’s PM Cup 2022. He only played one game in that tournament. But since then he has become a regular member of the provincial team.

He came to everyone’s attention after an impressive campaign in the KP Oli T20 Tournament where his all-round performance helped Madhesh clinch the historic domestic title. He not only picked up six wickets from four matches but also scored a match-winning 32-ball 49* in the final against Army to help Madhesh clinch the title.

He played four matches in the Men’s PM Cup 2024 but had an impressive all-round performance during the Bir Ganeshman Singh National T20 Championship in Mulpani. He is now one of the leading pacers in Madhesh’s side.

Ambition:

“I grew up idolizing Paras Khadka, one of the greatest names in Nepal cricket history. My ultimate goal is to serve my nation as he did. Nepal needs a left-arm pacer, and I have that skill. However, I still need to work hard and increase my pace as well to around 130+ to earn a spot on the national team,” Bishal said.

When asked about his future prospects, Bishal said, “As I mentioned, playing for my country is my aim, and I am working hard towards that goal. In a few years, I’ll be 22/23, which is the ideal time to make my debut. I’ll do my very best to make it happen.”

“But first, I need to perform consistently in domestic cricket to catch everyone’s attention and we also have an A team now which will make the journey a bit easier.”

“I am determined to pursue a career in cricket, and support my parents financially, who have done a lot for me.”

Feature Image – Thailand Cricket