By: Jashanpreet Singh Gill
This article comes at a time when the Nepal fans are very happy with a great win the team got in ICC World Cricket League Division 4. The fans now are confident that the team has a good shot for 2015 World Cup.
While the team has done greatly and very nicely guided with the dynamic coach Pubudu, it must be noted that the team performance has not been due to some great work done by Nepal Cricket Authorities but rather than the passion of the players and some extra curricular activities led from the front by the Coach. The Coach got the Captain Paras to play regular Club Cricket in Canada. He got Shakti Gochan a trial in an IPL team, while 2 young players got a chance to play in Sri Lanka. These got players much some required exposure and regular match practice.
While the coach has been doing great job the organizers are nowhere near to what they are supposed to do. When I started following Nepal Cricket the list of to do’s for Nepal Cricket remain exactly same even after so many years. Well the things in Nepal have changed a lot. There is a working democracy now, the civil war is over and the confidence in country is much higher.
Out of the many to do lists, 2 clearly standout. If these are fulfilled it will address many of the problems plaguing Nepal Cricket. The first & very very important is the Central Contracts.
Central Contracts are the very core to a sports team. It means that the players would not have to worry on the financial aspect of life and just focus on Cricket. It would also mean that unlike what happened in the past when Nepal have lost loads of U-19 players because they simply did not see any future in cricket can be retained. The U19 players now can see a future in Cricket. It would also mean that many more upcoming players in country would think of Cricket as an option.
However many people would say Central Contracts are simply not possible. There are no resources. Countries like Ireland who get much more money from ICC are not able to give central contracts to all the player, even though they have private sponsorships.
I would like to simply to point out that Ireland get around 0.6 M$ from ICC while Nepal gets around 0.1 M$, but the funds received from ACC are much higher than what Ireland receives from ICC Europe as around half the development funds go to ACC. Also the per capita PPP income of Ireland is $41000 as compared to Nepal’s $1250 and a purchasing power of Dollar in Nepal is 2.5 times more than Ireland. This simply means that funding of Nepal puts in a much stronger position than that of Ireland. A average central contract in Nepal of 25000 Rs (294$) would be good enough to start with while this is simply not imaginable in Ireland.
So definitely Central Contracts is a possibility and CAN should extend the same immediately to 15-20 Players. Government gave players 300000 each after winning Div 4, well that is exactly what is the amount that is required for Central Contracts
The second most important thing is a Stadium. The benefits of a stadium are numerable. It would give the team a place to call their own where they can practice on quality ground. Secondly the coach is really pushing hard for a National Cricket Academy. The stadium definitely would mean National Cricket Academy up and running and would be producing players for future
|Sharjah Stadium: A stadium which changed the fortune of UAE Cricket.|
The stadium along with TU ground combined can be used for conducting fantastic domestic tournaments and a fantastic exposure to even domestic teams.
However the biggest benefit of a stadium is the International Exposure Nepal can get. I tried to work on some simple numbers. If CAN invites India A for a 20 day tour of 1 Four Day Match, 5 One Day & 2 T20 Matches, the total Cost which CAN would have to bear would be around 1.1 Crores. This includes cost of India A team travel, Stay, Food, Facilities and also the cost of Nepal team and officials. Now under normal circumstances CAN would bear all the costs. But if Nepal has a stadium and even if 10,000 People(Much less than what people turn out) come for each match buying 150 Rs tickets, this would cover all the costs and give CAN a profit. The private sponsorships & broadcasting rights would be additional to CAN.
This means CAN earns and Nepal team also get excellent exposure. The people would also see some quality cricket and would surely want to watch it. Then the stadium can be used to host International matches. Imagine if the stadium was already there then Nepal could have been the host location for Pakistan. For Pakistan it would be a much cheaper home ground than UAE and surely with good crowd support. This also brings in lots of tourism in Nepal which surely should get Nepal Government interested
The Stadium surely would not come cheap. A decent stadium would cost around 5 M$ (45 Crores). CAN may not have all the money but it surely got funds from ACC, it can rope in Nepal Government and rest can be in form of loans. As we have already seen a India A tour can be profitable to CAN if used properly, similar tours can be arranged and the loan to be paid off. It is all about thinking in an entrepreneurial way.
These are the 2 issues which addressed by CAN brings in loads of good for Nepal Cricket. It brings in full player focus, better exposure to team, chance to develop domestic cricket, opportunity to get more talent and tourism for the country. In 2 words “Complete Package”. So the cricket lovers and fan in the country should really push hard for both the issues to be addressed. I would be waiting for these to happen soon.
Jashanpreet is a keen follower of Associate and Affiliate cricket based in Pune, India. He can be followed from his blog http://jashan-celebrating-life.blogspot.in