Kathmandu – School Cricket is played at extremely high level in India and Sri Lanka. It stands as one of the main reasons for their flourishing cricketing culture. Till 2013 school cricket barely existed in Nepal. But in last one year school cricket in Nepal has gained substantial heights.
Until last year Birendra Sainik’s Chief of Army Staff School cricket was perhaps the only known school cricket tournament in Nepal. But things started to change with establishment of National Cricket Academy and introduction of U-12 coaching there. Hundreds of school children showed up for coaching which helped take the game to the schools.
Cricket Association of Nepal(CAN) had for long felt the need promoting school cricket. In 2007 in collaboration with Barun Beverages it had planned for a grand school cricket tournament but the event never took proper shape. Last year NSC(National Sports Committee) made even bigger plans – a mega school sports event- Cricket was supposed of be one of the highlights. Although cricket wasn’t played the preparation for the event gave reasons to be hopeful for even the smallest of schools in the valley had started forming and training their cricket squads.
And finally CAN came up with the goods – its successfully organized girl’s school cricket the last year and 2 weeks back it successfully hosted the national inter school cricket tournament.
In 2012 Nepal had also hosted U-16 Indo Nepal Cricket tournament which saw participation of several teams from Nepal and India. Like many of school cricket tournament never saw a second edition.
School Cricket, once the most neglected forms of cricket in Nepal is now receiving some attention. SAFF(Student Athletic Activities Foundation) an NGO formed in 2014 by Nepalese youths abroad is set to organize a 8 team event during the new year. The tournament will see students featuring in colored jersey. According to the organizers all the matches will be covered live by “CricHq”.
Also Nepal Cricket Foundation(NCF) established by Nepalese youths in Nepal is planning to organize a similar inter school event which they call “foundation juniors trophy in near future.”
With CAN finally getting hold of school cricket, NCA U-12 Cricket coupled with passionate involvement of youth through organizations like SAFF and NCF- we could see school cricket flourish in next few years.
It is a very exciting time for budding school cricketers.
(A detailed story on SAFF’s Cricket Tournament will be available in Cricnepal tomorrow)