Kathmandu – Nepal Cricket Team lived its dream playing the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh. Their spirited play in the sports’ biggest platform drew the attention of the whole Nation. But with World Cup done and dusted (for Nepal) and ICC not clear about it plans for associates like Nepal and Netherlands(who did not get an ODI status), Nepal players on return from Bangladesh must have asked themselves-“What Next ?“
Without a clear target to achieve at international level the only answer to the “What Next” would be to improve on domestic structure, cricketing infrastructures and improving on the National side. But these targets not as tangible as preparing for tournaments that lead to World Cups.
Last two years have been very busy for Nepal Cricket. Players got to work on targets, which were basically the Twenty20 or 50 over World Cups. The next T-20 World Cup will be after 4 years now, and having failed to qualify for 2015 World Cup(or get an ODI status), it left Nepal with only ACC Premier Trophy for calendar of 2014. Despite winning the last 50 over ACC event, it only earned Nepal matches with the A sides of the 4 Asian Test sides. Its unlikely this tournament will give Nepal anything more.(Although finishing top 4 will ensure Nepal play two-Day Cricket with the other teams from top from at the end of 2014)
Thus, with little to think about the international tournaments, cricket players and even Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) seem to be indulging in reflecting on past weakness and mistakes. Players, especially Paras Khadka had openly ridiculed CAN’s (lack of) work and questioned their commitment for cricket’s growth.In a TV interview with famed host Bhusan Dahal, Khadka urged CAN to be more responsible. CAN members have spoken nothing about Khadka’s comments and their silence is basically confession of their lack of commitment and work.
On a different note Shakti Gauchan, the most senior player in Nepal’s squad to Bangladesh, has pointed out that the bats Nepal used in the T20 World Cup were not of the quality that players had expected. With tight schedule small issues as these could have never come out! Sponsors of Nepal’s Cricketing Gears-B.S Sports. is yet to reply on the issue.
CAN on the other hand has been discussing on the way forward-its decided of hiring separate batting and bowling coach for the national team and extended Pubudu’s term by a year on Monday.
Tanka Angbuhang- CAN President, in an interview said that CAN will now focus on constructing infrastructures,”For last two years with back to back tournaments we could only focus on teams training. But now, if government takes the initiative CAN will start all the processes for developing cricketing infrastructures.” Angbuhang declared.”We are planning for building 4 grounds in Kathmandu. We also have several plans for strengthening domestic cricket. We also plan to introduce school and college cricket” he explained vaguely about CAN’s plans.
With back to back tournaments of high stakes, and limited bank balance CAN couldn’t afford to focus on mistakes and long term plan in the last two years. With virtually an empty international calender Nepal Cricket now has time to think domestic structures and infrastructures-like pitches and stadiums, which are basic necessity for Cricket.
With Big corporate companies pouring massive interest in Cricket thanks to National team’s heroics in the World T20 and nothing much to linger on, this is an ideal time for government and CAN to work on building better infrastructure. CAN should use this time plan on stronger domestic circuit. If government, CAN and the corporate work honestly for cricket’s growth the empty calender just after World T20’s success could be the best thing that has happened to Nepal Cricket.