Opinion

ICC must act and save Nepal Cricket

Nepal Cricket team

Cloud of uncertainty looms large over the future of Nepal cricket. Things are moving in the wrong direction much to everyone’s consternation and dismay.

I know, I may sound very pessimistic, but we must accept the current state of affairs now. Just when you thought things were gradually getting better, and then you realize that it’s not so, you are filled with concern and sheer frustration.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to move the ICC World Cricket League Championship series between Nepal and Namibia to Greater Noida, India from Nepal was/is a huge setback.

The venue change has not gone down well with frustrated cricket aficionados in the country. Since the day ICC awarded Nepal to host the matches, they have been keenly looking forward to see their team compete on home soil.

They took to the streets in protest against Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) in
what they see as a systemic failure at all levels of governance. They have rightly vented their ire, frustration, at the cricket body

ICC stated the reason for the venue change was because of CAN’s lack of planning and preparedness to host the matches, coupled with the ongoing wrangling between the two governing cricket bodies.

Despite everything, CEO of CAN Ms. Bhawana Ghimire is confident that the matches will go ahead as scheduled in Nepal. Regardless of circumstances, she says she will make it happen.

I don’t know how this is possible. I very much doubt it will happen, under the present situation of affairs.

She pretends to forget the fact that domestic cricket remains in a state of chaos, and there are no indications that things are improving or will improve. It is easier said than done. I don’t see how ICC would reverse its decision.

Ms. Ghimire is relatively new to Nepali cricket. I do not doubt the fact that she was picked for the CEO position on merit. Her impressive résumé speaks for itself.

I hope I am not overstating it when I say that she has thrown her heart and soul into the work for the betterment of cricket. National Sports Council (NSC) has rallied around her to get things going and done. Of course, the task ahead of her is daunting.

Surely, by now she must have familiarized herself with the dirty, nasty politics plaguing Nepali cricket. Just wondering how she stands up to the challenge.

As I write, there is a ray of hope that Nepal vs Namibia matches might take place in Nepal, however, there is no guarantee whatsoever, explicit or implied.

Nepal gets to host only if it proves to ICC its preparedness, logistically, operationally and administratively.

In addition, it has to set up an independent selection panel comprising of national team coach and captain. The panel will be tasked to select the team for the upcoming clash against Namibia.

The matches are right around the corner. Let alone Team Nepal being prepared for the challenge, team selection is yet to be made. This goes beyond being ridiculous.

What a joke. What a circus. This is nothing short of a national disgrace. It is so outrageous, embarrassing and humiliating.

The incompetent, greedy, corrupt clowns running the show are literally killing cricket. Obviously, they are motivated by their own interests, desires and refuse to learn from past mistakes.

They are shamelessly holding cricket to ransom. The irony here is that these so called guardians of the sport are using the office for private gain. It is all stinking politics.

CAN itself is the root of the problem,. Everyone knows it has been long politicized and continues to go down the same path.

Furthermore, we have a government that does not prioritize sports and sees sports merely as a pastime, does not give a damn. There have been no efforts whatsoever to resolve the current crisis that is badly damaging cricket on their part.

My heart goes out to players who have achieved so much more than we ever dreamed, in spite of very difficult and challenging circumstances. Their hard work and sacrifice have gone to waste. They are victims of this dysfunctional system.

Although, the ICC has warned Nepal over the crisis, nothing seems to have changed. Still, a stalemate prevails as both groups are sticking to their positions. Fans and cricketers have had enough of CAN. They cannot take it no more.

ICC should cease playing the waiting game. Now is the time for the cricket world governing to act and save Nepali cricket.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of cricnepal.com

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