Another compelling success story for Nepal cricket, despite the lamentable state of affairs. The recent glory cornered by the national team came at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia.
Anything else the cricketers and the coaching staff deserve high credit and praise for the triumph. The cricketers’ commitment to excellence and hard work is a testament to their success.
The latest success once again underlines our growing potential on the pitch. More importantly and encouragingly, we are progressing competition after competition.
Much has been achieved under very challenging circumstances over the years. This would not have been possible without cricketers’ hard work, hard toil, dedication, and passionate and burning desire to excel and put Nepal cricket on an international platform.
With the odds stacked against them, we find it hard to believe they have accomplished so much. They have proven their endurance and at the same time demonstrated their willingness and ability to work hard for success.
There is no doubt that we can achieve a lot more internationally. That being said, it is no secret that Nepal cricket still has a very long, long way to go in terms of development, infrastructure and good governance. Also there is an urgent need to improve the quality and sustainability of cricket.
However, the bitter truth is that Nepal cricket to this day lacks even the basic infrastructure, facilities for the sport to grow and prosper, and there remains much uncertainty.
Furthermore, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), responsible for the all round development of cricket is a politicalized entity. Leave alone running the administration professionally, those at he helm of power have completely failed in their role of developing domestic cricket at all levels.
Just like the All Nepal Football Association. CAN is rife with a culture of corrupt practices, financial irregularities, maladministration, cronyism and misuse of power.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority’s investigation against suspended President of CAN on corruption charges, the saga surrounding Coach Pubudu Dassanayake’s contract issue, the protest and boycott of the one-day tournament by players over unpaid bonus reflect the current chaos and instability in Nepali cricket.
Beyond that the leadership vacuum in the cricket body is threatening the future of Nepali cricket, as well. I have nothing further to say on this behind. The sad fact is, the government has no interest at all in the development of cricket.
The only time they come out of the shadows is when cricketers accomplish something very big and significant. They seize the moment, take center stage, heap praises on the team, announce cash prizes, make big, hollow promises never to fulfill and vanish.
This explains to a large extent, the apathy on the part of the government towards cricket, which is increasingly becoming popular by the day.
In spite of everything, is it possible to turn things around? In my opinion, being an optimist, I believe we can, but it takes all of our collective efforts, coupled with the government’s support to change things for the better.
In fact, it has long been the subject of debate and national conversation. Unfortunately, so far, nothing positive has come out of this.
We saw positive development with CAN making two key appointments recently. The truth of the matter is that, as per ICC administration statute requirement, CAN had to appoint Bhawana Ghimire and Prakash Maharjan as its chief executive officer (CEO) and finance manager respectively to avoid a potential suspension.
Ms. Ghimire’s appointment as CAN’s CEO has been greeted with cautious optimism, but there is no doubt that she faces uphill task and will have to overcome many obstacles in order to advance her agendas under the current situation.
To succeed in her new role, she must be given a free hand, rise to the challenge and far beyond, and she has to perform to the best of her ability to improve Nepali cricket at every possible way. But the degree of her success will largely depend upon the kind of support, cooperation, respect and goodwill she earns from members of CAN.
The national team’s promotion to World Cricket League Division two is a very crucial break through. Evidently they are ready to take their game to the next level, however, they will require healthy and supportive environment to make a smooth indeterminate progress.
As I write the government has dissolved CAN and formed an ad hoc committee headed by Mr.Binaya Raj Pandey.
The former President of CAN Mr.Pandey, a seasoned veteran is back in the saddle. We have seen enough of his leadership qualities, and we also are aware that he failed to succeed in his ambition. His failure to perform his duty ably, with foresight speaks for itself.
The biggest irony is that, the frequent change in the CAN’s leadership has done nothing but hurt cricket. The musical chairs played out at the CAN are unfortunate, depressing and appalling.
Now that the dissolved CAN officials are headed to the court, there seems to be no end in sight to Nepali cricket problems.
The truth is nothing will ever change, unless and until the government is seriously committed and wants it to happen. Otherwise, Nepal cricket will continue to be the big loser and languish further.