Fairfax – The national cricket team of Nepal`s performance at the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh was remarkable and sensational.
Despite two impressive wins against Hong Kong and Afghanistan, Nepal narrowly failed to join the elite teams in the league cum knock out phase.
It was a story of so close yet so far. A better net run rate than Bangladesh could have ensured Nepal a historical spot in the final round.
That did not happen but they dished out a creditable and heartwarming performance, generating excitement of hysterical proportions in fans.
More important, they were able to win the hearts and minds of sport enthusiasts who were literally bowled over by the performance.
Team Nepal`s superb performance earned high marks from all quarters and was greeted with great joy and happiness by everyone across the country.
Expectedly, people of all walks of life showered praises on cricketers. Media houses, government and Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) promptly announced cash rewards for the gutsy showing.
Both electronic and print media coverage of Team Nepal was extensive and out of the ordinary. The networks (TV) locked horns for the best coverage.
Edgy fans closely kept track of the team`s progress in the competition and their joy knew no bound, following their fantastic run in the championship.
Not surprisingly, for a week or so cricket news eclipsed media headlines and was the subject of discussion everywhere.
Now the frenzy seemed to have died down somewhat. This is not the first time the entire country got so overwhelmed by the national team’s performance. We have witnessed it happen time and time again in recent years.
Apparently, cricket in Nepal is getting increasingly popular and bigger by the day. The public support for the game is staggering and fan base is rapidly swelling.
Unfortunately, there has been much talk but no action when it comes to development of cricket in the true sense over the decades.
With the kind of talent at our disposal, there is not an iota of doubt that we can achieve bigger successes. The biggest irony is that Nepali cricket has been living on hopes, dreams and assurances only all these years. There have been no real efforts to translate hopes into reality.
We continue to wait, hoping something good will happen. The fact of the matter is that cricket in Nepal is in a sad state of affairs and stands at a precarious juncture although we have made great strides in recent years strictly in terms of results internationally.
The biggest hindrance Nepal cricket today faces is the absence of infrastructures, facilities and grounds. In addition, CAN responsible for the promotion and development of cricket has not only badly failed in its duties but has transformed itself into a laughing stock.
Like any other national sport association, CAN administration has been politicized in a very big way and run by unprofessional for years. If this trend continues, it is obvious that the development of cricket will remain stagnant and cricketers’ woes will continue.
However, this has not stopped aspiring cricketers from playing the game. They have committed themselves and bravely withstood and overcome challenges. More importantly, what they have accomplished is just as impressive or even more so. They deserve every bit of praise they are given.
The media comes out full throttle only when the national team does something spectacular. Otherwise, they are in a slumber mode when it comes to applying consistent pressure on CAN and government to act for the most part.
Since mass media has the power to influence in a big way, it must constantly put relentless pressure on responsible parties to get things done. The cold hard fact is that there is just so much uncertainty right now; the future of Nepal cricket will not change if nothing changes.
By Sushil Thapa, Fairfax, VA