Nepal’s performance in ACC T20 cup and fans reactions

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Well, 3 wins and 3 losses were not what we expected in this tournament. Out of those 3 wins, 2 were in the last ball of the game. Yes we are new to this format and our players are not used to playing in this format but this should not be taken as an excuse. We had an obvious home advantage and crowd support but we could not capitalize on that. The only positive thing coming out of this tournament is that we have been selected for the T20 global qualifiers. But this kind of performance will lead us to nowhere. There are plenty of areas to be sorted out for improved performance in the near future.

We have been disappointed in all three areas of the games. Fielding and bowling once considered as Nepal’s strength are looking off-colored. But the main reason behind Nepal’s failure is the inability to produce big totals. Once you don’t have big totals on the board, bowlers and fielders become defensive. Well, singles and doubles are an integral part of a T20 game, it’s not only about hitting boundaries. Our batsmen are not willing to rotate strikes and they only want to hit boundaries. As a result, they indulge themselves in unnecessary pressure and end up throwing their wickets away playing reckless shots. Opening batsmen are so important in a T20 game in setting a good total. Anil Mandal to me lacked a proper approach in his gameplay and that’s hampering Nepal’s batting as a whole. Subash Khakurel in his maiden tournament has impressed behind the wicket and has looked good in patches. If he improves in his technical part of the game, he will be a long-term prospect for Nepal even in longer formats. Team management is experimenting too much in the batting order. Mehboob Alam has had one successful outing playing at 3 but failed in 3 other occasions. He is such a crucial asset in Nepal’s batting, we cannot afford to lose him early. So for me, he has to play as a floater. If there is a good opening partnership, he can come at 3 and when the wicket falls early he should not be exposed to the moving ball early.

Nepal’s bowling with the new ball has been a concern. We are giving too many runs in the field restriction overs. One-sided field setting and bowling according to that field is something the coach and captain should look for. We need T20 specialists for T20s. And as said by the coach, we need changes in the team and I think that’s a positive move. Bench strength is another thing we were lacking. When players were sick or out of form, no players from the bench were good enough to replace them.

Now talking about fans, everyone knows we have very passionate fans. It’s obvious that they were disappointed with Nepal’s performance. Some were not happy with the captain and coach and others said it’s a learning curve for the upcoming games and a wake-up call for the team management and CAN. Some excerpts of what the fans had to say about Nepal’s performance and ways forward are given below:

Sanjiv Poudel: We should not shuffle our batting too much and make a fixed batting order. We should organize a regional T20 tournament in front of our coach and selection should be made strictly based on performance. We should arrange friendly games with the teams of India in batting-friendly conditions.

Swarup Dhungana: We are playing the same set of players always. We have many players waiting for their opportunities. We should give chance to the youth. We need match practice and fair team selection.

Samip Palikhey: Yet again very disappointing n pathetic batting show by Nepal. This kind of game is not going to help them for qualifying for ICC T20 WC in Srilanka. So they need to practice very hard these 3 months in order to compete with experienced teams like Scotland, Holland, Canada, and others. CAN should organize a maximum number of matches with international teams to sharpen Nepal’s game. We have to think now before it is too late.

Pushpa Raj Adhikari: In 1999 U19 world cup we beat Pakistan. By today we should have made huge improvements but we could not. Cricket is on the downfall. Our batting is too weak all the time. Afganistan who started to play in 2003 now has already got ODI status. So something to think about.

Jayesh Raman Dahal: Match exposure is What the Nepalese Team Need. Our coach should pressurize CAN for a friendly match against National level teams of Four test playing nation in SAARC. And I am damn sure if the Nepalese team plays about 10 practice matches against India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Srilanka, we will be first in the Qualifiers.

Sudeep Manandhar: Our players are good, they have caliber but due to lack of match practices, we are not able to make a good mark. I guess we only rely on Mr. Dependable Paras Khadka. Our openers have to make a mark now. I always see Paras playing alone with both bat and ball. I also suggest that it’s time for Binod Das, Mehboob Alam, and Sanjam Regmi to give juniors a chance. The country respects them a lot but the game is won by playing not by emotions. Anyways wish the boys luck again for forthcoming divisions…

Antim Thapa: We cannot say lack of practice match is the reason behind Nepal’s performance. Our players have played many practice matches in the camp. But playing against our own players won’t help us to improve. We should organize practice matches with other countries like India.

Govind Joshi: Lack of commitment & responsibility is the reason. Players should be very much responsible. If one fails to bat well then another one has to grab the chance. Players did get many chances throughout this tournament but no one showed their best. Mehboob Alam was the only one to take responsibility. Take inspiration from him.

Suman Bagale: Two matches which Nepal won were last ball wins. Both the decisions were backed by some controversy. Nepal played very badly on its home soil I am very much disappointed. Moreover, the loss is not a humiliating factor, what matters most is how you lost it. Nepal nowhere looked good. Not in any department. Now I am going to assume that Nepal will reach WorldCup sooner in football than in cricket. Shakti Gauchan should be called back to the team.

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