Cricket Association of Nepal root cause of problem

Rohit Paudel

The Men’s national cricket team of Nepal on June, this year, flew to Zimbabwe to participate in the ICC World Cup Qualifier with high hopes and high expectations.

The team had qualified to the competition, following a dramatic and spectacular bounce back from a precarious position, capturing the hearts and minds of Cricket aficionados across the globe.

The performance was talk of the town. Indeed they performed in a such manner never seen before. It was a result of brilliant concerted and individual combination.

Be it batting or bowling or fielding, they were at the top of their game. More importantly, they displayed a high degree of consistency, batted and bowled solidly throughout.

Batting has been Nepal’s Achilles heel for the most part. However, the overall batting performance showed no chinks in the armor then.

Team Nepal had the much needed momentum and confidence going into the tournament. They were up against familiar opponents(except the West Indies) whom they had beaten in the past.

They stood a pretty good chance to finish in the top three in the group and qualify to the Super Six.

All that was needed was an excellent and consistent performance by the team. Since batting was key to success, they could not afford a dismal performance.

Individual and collective contribution for the team’s success was a must. The players had to give their best and play to their ability.

At the end of the day, Team Nepal let go a glorious opportunity to prove themselves go begging.

They were unable to ride on the momentum, struggled with consistency and failed miserably with the bat. Additionally, lack of fast bowlers exposed the bowling department.

With one win and three defeats Nepal’s unimpressive run ended much to everyone’s disappointment.

Despite getting the better of the United Arab Emirates, they narrowly lost to Ireland in the final of the 7th Place Play-off.

They finished ahead of the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America to conclude the competition.

It is very apparent that the team must improve their consistency, batting and bowling dramatically to make a lasting impression moving forward.

Also players need maximum international exposure and experience in order to enhance their skills, become consistent performers and more competitive.

They will have to play against top-tier teams with regularity to reap the benefits.

In addition, domestic cricket should have three different types of pitches- green, dusty and dead to help batters, spinners and pacers hone their skills and improve performance.

Seventeen year old pacer Gulshan Kumar Jha, the youngest member of the team was by far the most impressive player to me. Apart from bowling, he proved he can bat as well. He is a complete package.

The current team is loaded with young talents who have the potential to become successful professionals.

We have seen flashes of their brilliance. They are still in the learning process and have a long career ahead of them.

They must have the right frame of mind, remain totally focused, stay committed and disciplined during the relentless pursuit of their goals.

They should learn to self-introspect when it comes to their own performance. They have to dwell upon their strengths, weaknesses and work on it to become better players .

Nobody disputes the fact that we have a large pool of talented players. Every year a good number of immensely talented and exciting young players surface only to be wasted.

They quickly come under the radar of national selectors and a few make it to the national team. The big irony is that many of them fall by the wayside in no time.

The Cricket Association of Nepal is the root cause of problem. The continuing weak leadership, poor governance, unaccountability, mismanagement, the radical politicization of the cricket body and internal strife have hindered development of the sport as desired.

Domestic cricket structure remains agonizingly sub- standard and unsustainable, infrastructure is negligible, coupled with lack of quality pitches and absence of organized grassroots cricket.

The ugly truth is that players are victims of a failing system. As long as the cricket body is run in an unprincipled and unprofessional manner there will be no end to cricketers woes and frustration on and off the field.

ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup starting on July 13th in Sri Lanka is an important tournament for Team Nepal to show case their talent and gain valuable experiences playing against the best teams of Asia.

Although they are in a tough group alongside Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates, there is absolutely no reason to panic at all.

They must realize that it is a massive opportunity for them playing against the likes of Pakistan and India. Winning or losing is part of the game.

They have to be mentally prepared to take the challenge up. They need to be razor focused and give 100 per cent.

Team Nepal squares up against Pakistan in the opener on July 14th.Come on, boys! This is one big opportunity to prove yourself. Rise to the occasion and make your presence felt in the competition in a big way.