Hundreds of supporters flocked the Kathmandu Airport to welcome the Nepal cricket team on their return from Zimbabwe. Nepal gained One Day International (ODI) status after beating Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea in the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

Standing eighth in the tournament ahead of Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong, Nepal confirmed their status amongst the elites in the 50 over format.

Captain Paras Khadka, who normally is very content in public, raised his hands with joy and greeted the fans with big smile upon the team’s arrival.

“This is a dream come true for all the players and everyone involved,” Paras said.

“This is the biggest achievement in the history of Nepalese cricket. With ODI status in the bag, we have a lot of opportunities on the way. But along with it are challenges, which we are hopeful of overcoming with support from the stakeholders.”

He also highlighted about the importance of a good domestic structure for better future.

Paras added: “We have opened up possibilities to play the World Cup. But as long as we don’t have proper planning and implementation, that’s a far call. We are targeting to play World Cup in next edition. If everything goes per the expectation, within a decade we can be a Test playing nation.”

Coach Jagat Tamatta stressed on the need for the planning and reminded of missing out the opportunity after gaining Twenty20 International status.

“We could not make use of the T20I status few years back. This time, we have a great platform set in front of us. Developing infrastructure is the key along with proper administration and board. We are hopeful of making most out of this,” Tamatta said.

He also added that the blend of youth and experience in the team is very strong and future is looking brighter than ever.

The fans present to welcome the team also had their say with slogans. They aimed their words to the newly appointed Sports Minister Jagat BK and Member Secretary of National Sports Council who were present to welcome the players.

The fans criticized the poor state of cricketing infrastructures and also urged to solve the crisis of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), which is suspended by ICC, as soon as possible.