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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cricket in Nepal



If I think about Nepal as a country, naturally I would think about the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest. Nepal is also a country, known for beautiful valleys, lakes and it is a great place for trekking. All such factors can arouse the interest of any tourist.

Cricket in Nepal

Leaving the geography of Nepal aside, Nepal is also fast becoming famous for its passion towards cricket. In the past, football was said to be the main sport in Nepal, but from whatever little I know about Nepal's cricket, the advent of private channels gave the chance for people of Nepal to watch international cricket as it slowly gained ground in the country and now it is the number one sport in Nepal.

Nepal became an associate member of ICC in 1996 and a lot was expected from them as one could see a lot of raw talent in Nepal, but compared to few other teams like Afghanistan, Nepal haven't progressed as much as expected. Yes, they recently qualified for division four of world cricket and have been reasonably strong at the junior level in Asia, but a lot more was expected of a team that has so much passion for cricket. It isn't like they don't have talented players as cricketers like Binod, Paras, Alam and co. are all said to be good players, but they perhaps haven't been able to progress due to the incompetence of the board.

Domestic structure

For any team to succeed at the higher levels of cricket, a strong domestic structure is needed. For instance, Australia have been successful over the years because of a strong domestic structure. If I look at the various articles written on domestic cricket in Nepal, it seems like they don't have a good domestic structure. The problem usually with associate teams is, they don't play three day, or four day matches which is essential for a player's development as he can hone his skills in first class matches.

In Nepal too it looks like only T/20 matches and onedayers are held.They usually hold it during the monsoon and all the matches are cramped together in just a week or two. It is surely not the way to run a competition and it is even more worrying to see that selection for the national team is based on such competitions.

I have seen a few Nepal's cricket fans saying that cricket was organised better when it was run by the privateers and a few enthusiastic fans. I have also seen comments like once the board took over in 2000, a few tournaments have been scrapped.

Infrastructure

For the players to develop their skills, they at least need the basic infrastructure, but going by what I saw on various blogs related to Nepal's cricket, one can safely say that it isn't the case.

Nepal's former player, Bardan Chalise about the infrastructure,

"Sports equipment: we have 2 old bowling machines. Players do not even get a full kit. Just a kit bag. National League: One national league. CAN do not organize any other tournaments and no one else is organizing any tournaments as well"

I have heard that they don't have many turf wickets nor, the board has an academy for the upcoming players to hone their skills. One academy has been started, but that is run by a former player called Amir Akthar.

Bardan Chalise on annual budget of Nepal's cricket board,

"CAN –annual budget of Rs. 68,213,244.

Rs 32,400,000 for infrastructure development, Rs. 19,683,190 for national leagues, sports equipment purchase and administrative costs and Rs. 16,130,054 will be spent for international participation and event hosting.

CAN has also requested for Rs. 15,112,500 for infrastructure development with ACC; Rs. 4,598,000 for the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 with Nepal Government and Rs. 3,300,000 for participation in SAG with National Sports Council"

If the above mentioned information is true, one can ask where is all the aid from ICC and ACC going? Most former players and fans in Nepal say that there is no infrastructure for cricketers to develop their skills, but the Nepal board is showing that they are spending a lot for developing cricket.

Nepal's national team

It is good to see that Nepal has qualified for the fourth division, but a lot more has to be done for the welfare of the players. The general feeling is, Nepal's players get a pittance, as it is said that they get less than one dollar per match. Actually, the Nepal's team led by their captain, Paras recently went on a strike as the board wasn't doing much with regards to welfare of the players and for the development of cricket in Nepal. In the end, the players agreed to call off the strike, as a new committee was set up to look into the development of cricket in Nepal.

The captain of the side, Paras on the committee,

"We agreed to form a seven-member committee including three players, three CAN officials and a coach which will bridge the gap between board and players,”

It would be interesting to see whether the new committee would look at developing cricket in Nepal or is it just an eye-wash by the board. It is no wonder that a few of their players like Bardan, Kanishka, Bataju, Pradhan and co. have left playing cricket and even their present captain, Paras is said to be thinking of pursuing his studies abroad. I also saw a few, who regularly watch Nepal play cricket say that players lack fitness and that may again indicate to lack of back up support for the players.

It is sad to see that there is so much passion for cricket in Nepal, but they haven't been able to perform as well as expected. Just raw talent won't help, but for Nepal to do well in cricket, they need better infrastructure. One can change numerous coaches or captains at the national level, but any team can progress, only if they look at improving cricket at the grassroots level.


(If not for a few Nepal's fans at cricket Nepal website, I wouldn't have been able to write this blog as I got a lot of the above mentioned information from them. So, I would like to thank the fans of cricket Nepal website)

Finally, the below mentioned video shows the passion for cricket in Nepal.

11 comments:

Supen said...

Good to see that you are interested about Cricket in Nepal.It is a fine piece of article, appreciate it. Nepalese are really very passionate about cricket. Whenever Nepal plays cricket, there are lots of supporters in and out the field. Whether it be a junior level or the senior level, the fans show lot of support for the cricket.

The Nepalese cricketers no doubt have an extraordinary talent but are not being backed up by good infrastrudture. Nepalese cricket is inspirated by the self motivation of the players. The structure of the administrator is real bullshit run by the improffesional part- timers. Our players play more international game than the domestic game, pity on them. Domestic national game happens once in a year also it is presently planned in monsoon which does not even last 10 days.

The heat of the cricket is there in Nepal, but these so called cricket administrators are ruining the popularity of cricket in Nepal.Its all because of the cricketers that the pride of cricket is being saved in Nepal. And the players have to cry for there welfare.

I don't understand why ICC and ACC are not looking into this matter. They are investing hugely for the development of cricket in Nepal I guess but since last 10 years or so the situation is more or less the same. No infrastructures, no good domestic league, no future security for the players and no development of cricket.

THE WCL 4 in Italy is just two months far and nothing is going on. No preparation, no pratice matches, no squad selection. Only 15 days left for WCL 4 and they will choose a captain and the squad, play some practice matches in Kathmandu and throw the players abroad to perform well. Come on, this is not done.

God help Nepalese cricket.........

greyblazer said...

Supen,

Welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment.

Most don't have a high opinion of ICC as they haven't done much good to cricket. The only way out is perhaps for all the former and current players to get together and revolt against the board?

I also read somewhere that division league four would be held on astro-turf in Italy and if that is the case Nepal has to practice on such wickets but it doesn't look like it is happening.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot GREYBLAZER, for this article and i really appreciate your effort. Though you are not nepali you have written this article as if you are a real nepali. I like it. once again thanks a lot.

greyblazer said...

Thanks for the comment.

pardeshi said...

wowwwwwwww

it's really nice to know that somebody writes about our cricket.
There is no lack of support or passion for cricket in Nepal, it only lacks efficient officials in it's main controlling body. These guys are all part timers only and do not have much enough effort on cricket. I am sure, if our cricket governing body (CAN) do something or well manage what they have now then Nepal will get more success.

anyway, thanks for your beautiful article, keep blogging... and be online when the div. 4 is on then you will know how much passion nepali people have.

greyblazer said...

Pradeshi,

Welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment. I would surely follow Nepal's progress in division four.

half-tracker said...

It is clear that passion for the game in Nepal does not only run deep in the players but in the supporters too. As Supen says the ICC really need to take a hard look at the administration in Nepal and set it right. The players and fans deserve so much more than this. I look forward to following Nepal in div 4, and hopefully see them promoted to div 3.

BobToms100 said...

I can't really add anything more than has been said except that I too hope that the ICC examines how the Nepali board are managing cricket development in their own country. Cricket is growing and with good and accountable management, it will quicker and it will be a dignified sport.

greyblazer said...

Bobtoms100,

Welcome to the blog. Yeah as cricket fans we can just hope that the administration would be better. Unfortunately though corruption is said to be rampant in associate countries like Kenya, Nepal and many more.

Jarrod Potter said...

Considering that they barely play, getting to World League Four is a monumental effort. Going up against Italy, USA, Argentina and the like isn't easy when you consider the difficulties the team would face just to train together.

In spite of their vigour and determination, the problem in years to come will have nothing to do with Nepal, but more so the ICC and ACC's hope and prayer that China rises up to be majorly successful in world cricket. Once that happens you can guarantee that Nepal will be cast aside or force to integrate into the Chinese team.

greyblazer said...

Yeah ICC and ACC seem to be after China though it would be better to concentrate on teams like Nepal as there is passion for cricket.