By Sushil Thapa, Fairfax, VA
Not long ago qualifying for the World cup finals was an improbable dream. The dream is no more a dream. It is a dream comes true. For the first time in fifty years, the national cricket team of Nepal achieved success of epic proportion never seen before in the annals of the country’s sporting history.
By qualifying for the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup finals, our cricketers have all done themselves and the country proud. More important, they have put Nepal firmly on the world cricket map. We could not have asked for anything more.
Without a doubt, 2013 has been a historical and memorable year for Nepal cricket. We should cherish this moment forever. Perhaps, this is the turning point of Nepali cricket. I hope so.
There have been activities galore on the domestic front but the national team has rightfully stolen the limelight, following their run of brilliant performance.
Two years ago when Team Nepal was mightily struggling to get its act together, I bet nobody thought they would turn things around dramatically and make history. Honestly speaking, I felt the same way.
Nonetheless, I had faith in the team and truly believed in their abilities to perform up to par on the cricket field. I thought it was only a matter of time until they strike it rich. But I was not sure how long it would take to uplift themselves from obscurity and deliver results.
After a number of missed opportunities they finally got a taste of success. I think it is fair to say now that they have proved themselves, changed gears and are now raring to go.
It all started from Malaysia in the World Cricket League Division 4 in 2012. Team Nepal’s victory over the United States for the title put them on a victory campaign.
There was no looking back for them as they rode their momentum. They shared the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite with the UAE and were victorious in the finals of the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Bermuda.
Although they finished second behind Afghanistan in the 2013 ACC Twenty20 Cup in Kathmandu, they got their mojo back in the ICC Twenty/20 World Cup qualifiers in the UAE, qualifying for the finals.
To my surprise, they have done it in the most emphatic manner. It is one of the best things I have seen in Nepali sports.
All credits goes to the players. They came through with flying colors defying all odds.
Everyone agrees that their success is a direct result of years of incredible dedication, hard work and fighting spirit.
The coaching staff has played a pivotal role in the team’s success as well. They have remained passionate, committed under pressing and difficult circumstances.
Sri Lankan coach Pubudu Dassanayake has been a true asset to the team. His guidance, determination and strength are a rock for players.
With the New Year around the corner, our cricketers are set to embark on another big challenge as they head to New Zealand for the ICC 2015 World Cup qualifiers. Nepal Under-19 is in action in the Asia Cup, hoping to perform well.
We have seen cricket grow and flourish but from an infrastructure perspective, we are lagging behind. Also the lack of fund, effective organization and management has hindered the development of the game.
We must drastically change the way Nepali cricket is perceived, governed and marketed. Or else, it will continue to struggle with little hope.
To this day cricket administration continues to be politicised in a very big way. From former President of CAN Jay Kumar Nath Shah to the present President Tanka Angbuhang CAN was/is nothing but a big joke. As a result, cricket development has largely remained stagnant.
Good results do bring rays of hope but it is not solution to the poor state of cricket. For Nepali cricket to thrive, be it short or long term, we need honest, committed and trustworthy professionals to run Cricket Association of Nepal with efficiency and integrity.