By Yogesh Oli –
Nepali cricket has nothing to prove. We are proven now. Now it is the time to deliver, time to capitalize on those proven track records. But believe me it is far easier to face the test so to prove oneself than to keep the proven records intact. And this is exactly where our cricket has stood up. If we go a bit earlier in 1988 when we were becoming affiliated member of international cricket council we had nothing to lose, our sole motive was to prove we do play cricket and that too with great potentials. With continuous effort and dedication of the then players and cricketing body within eight years we were recognized as Associate Nation by ICC in the year 1996. Salute to those national heroes for inching one step closer to international reorganization as cricketing nation who proved we can play. Since then to the present moment we have never looked back rather is always keen on moving forward.
The year 2013 was our most glorified year when we defeated Hong Kong in ICC World T20 Qualifier in UAE to progress into Bangladesh World T20.
In a sense history was created by achieving biggest success in the history not only in cricket but of Nepali sports as a whole. For the first time Nepali cricket came into limelight in front of world arena where we succeeded in proving that our participation was not only for participation rather it was a dream mixed with a decade or two hard practice, dedication, belief and representation of thousands of Nepalese support for cricket. And we did that. We not only participated but put up good show that attracted hearts of many fans and international cricketing pundits.
Though our journey was ended from first round the real journey has begun from there on. So are we ready to move on? Have everyone realized their own responsibility? And most importantly do we all know where we actually stand because it is a tough job to climb the Everest but it becomes tougher to stay on once you reach the top. In a sense we are at the top of our achievement. We have already participated in World Cup and also have awarded a T20 status by ICC few months earlier. This is like climbing a Everest for Nepali Cricket and its fans.
But importantly can we now continue from here on? We should be cautious enough that it does not need as much time to roll down as it takes to climb up. But it is unfortunate to say we are not heading into the right direction. We have zero development regarding going further into the cricketing achievements in between these half a year or so of returning from World Cup T20. Apart from felicitating world cup returning team with some cash amount we have zero progress to say look what a one success does to enthusiast cricketing nation to further go for next bigger achievements.
Rather, whatever we did in-between these periods are more frustrating and demoralizing to those who actually have dreamt of taking nepali cricket to next step. Actors of Nepali cricket became such a narrow minded that our players even went to extend of boycotting the national tournament so as only to ask for making positive move for entire cricket. Whether that particular action of player was a right choice or not one may debate, but one thing is sure most of these times we were not indulged in positive process. But in between this uncertainty too we succeeded in holding the U16 title. Thanks to those academics which molded the young talents.
It is never too late. Lets start now. Long disputes regarding coach has also now settled down and sir Pubudu Dassanayake is also back on field .Row within cricketing body too seems to be settling down with some positive move like appointment of CEO in process which may incur vibes of accountability and responsibility within the “CAN”. But those few things are only the technical side of whole process. With some settled technical aspect in cricket governing body, government need to come up with long-term vision.
Few months of preparation for tournament in hand and announcement of some cash amount to players are not enough to take our cricket to next level. Foremost we should develop a domestic structure such that it could produce fresh talents because bench strength is vital to be competitive in the international arena. Second important thing is long term projects of infra-structures. At least every region most contain one ground with basic facility and most importantly there should be enough of match practice regularly between domestic teams and at international level too. We should look for how most of positives could be derived being in the region of cricketing powerhouses like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and move forward. Remember we are already at certain height, if we failed to maintain that it shall bring down to nowhere.
Therefore, along with pressure to perform in the tournaments we participates, we should be very much preparing for long term project like gaining the one day status if not think of test for now too. Let us we all dream of so but dream with open eyes not the closed one. For now best of wishes to our team for Asian Games and upcoming Division games.
The Author is a Lecturer in English and Sociology from Jhapa now in Kathmandu.