During a recent interview, Chatur Bahadur Chand, the president of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), expressed the view that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should extend assistance to Nepal for the continued growth and development of cricket in the country.
Chand discussed several aspects in an online video conversation with India’s News24 Sports. He expressed that the Nepalese Cricket Team, along with fans across Nepal, is eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to compete against India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup. Chand added that they have high hopes for Nepal’s performance and believe it will be a valuable learning experience for the team.
When questioned about the widespread assumption that India and Pakistan would march ahead easily defeating Nepal, Chand responded, “In cricket, anything is possible, and underdogs can cause upsets anytime. Nepal isn’t participating just for the sake of it; we are determined to compete fiercely. Our squad’s average age of 22, and we have shown promising performances recently. This makes us capable of surprising bigger teams on our best days.”
The questioner praised the cricket craze in Nepal and applauded the presence of the fans in the stadium, some of whom even climbed to the top of trees to watch the matches. He inquired whether Chand would be enthusiastic about witnessing India play a series in Nepal or Nepal tour India for the series. Chand said, “I became CAN president in 2019, and since then, I’ve been appealing Indian board. We are a neighboring country and have such a good diplomatic relationship then why are you not supporting Nepal Cricket? Invite Nepal team for a series in your big cities and big stadiums. It will be a huge match exposure for Nepal.”
Chand emphasized the strong bond between Nepal and India, stating that if the BCCI doesn’t support Nepal, then it’s difficult to expect support from anyone else. He earnestly requested the Indian Government and BCCI to provide greater match exposure and assistance for the growth of cricket in Nepal.
Nepal will face Pakistan in the Asia Cup opener in Multan on the 30th of August. Then both sides will fly to Sri Lanka, where they will play a match against India. Pakistan, Nepal and India are placed in Group A, while Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in Group B.
The 50-over tournament will be played in a hybrid model with four matches being played in Pakistan and the other nine matches will be played in Sri Lanka. Pakistan were the initial host, but India were unwilling to travel to Pakistan due to political tensions. Hence, the hybrid model was suggested as an alternative solution
Nepal qualified for the Asia Cup, being the champions of the ACC Premier Cup. Nepal defeated UAE on the reserve day of the final at TU Cricket Ground to ensure a spot in the tournament.