When Nepal lost first two matches of the ICC World Cricket League Division 3, I was upset. I was frightened thinking it could be a recurrence of same old problem of losing crucial match. I tweeted my frustration when Nepal was taking on Uganda in the league round.
Next morning I went through an ICC press release about the results and encountered with some positive quotes from Nepali skipper Paras Khadka.
“Mathematically, we still have a chance. There are three games left and we just need to win those three games, remain positive and forget these matches,” Khadka was quoted.
Truly speaking, I was not hopeful by then but Khadka’s words forced me to think some positives.
The outspoken skipper kept his words and the team supported him well. Nepal registered emphatic victory over Bermuda, pulled a much-needed win over Oman and registered another convincing victory over Italy. Then, luck came for the brave boys (Paras and team) as Bermuda upset the USA.
Some people described Nepal’s qualification to the ICC World Cup Qualifiers as sheer product of luck but I believe as Khadka does that fortune favors the brave.
During the Division 3 tournament, I was frequently interacting with my colleagues about Nepal performances. Following Nepal’s qualification to the World Cup Qualifiers, many of them asked me what positive sign I saw in the performance of entire Nepali team.
Undoubtedly, my answer was, ‘positive attitude and fighting spirit in the team’.
Despite losing first two matches of the league consisting six teams, none except Paras Khadka would have shown the same positive intent.
Paras proved he is a good leader by disseminating the positive vibes to all the teammates. The positive vibes generated fighting spirit in the team and the team as a unit demonstrated it, which ultimately guided Nepal to a higher level.
Division 3 is the third One-Day tournament in a row that Nepal has won under the guidance of Coach Pubudu Dassanayake. With the recent successes, Dassanayake has proved to be a good planner and himself as a motivation factor for the team.
Some months earlier, a Nepali cricketer, in a chat, had described Dassanayake as an uncle figure of the team. “Roy (Dias) sir was a grandfather figure for us and taught us basics while Dassanayake is uncle figure, who plans, motivates and pushes our performances. With due respect, some times we excel under uncle’s guidance than grandfather’s since we feel easy to express in front of an uncle,” the cricketer had told me.
It was a correct analysis to describe a relation between Dassanayake and Nepali cricketers. Nepali players are excelling under Dassanayake and Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) should support him to execute his plans and programs.
We reached World Cup Qualifiers but we are still far away from World Cup. We will encounter top associate and affiliate member nations in the qualifiers and we should be prepared to overcome them.
We should dream but dream without planning and execution makes no sense. CAN should prove itself to responsible authority and focal center to make plans and to execute it.
The CAN has started paying salary to the national team players though it is only Rs 5000. It has been sending teams to India for some practice matches repeatedly though they are against some club sides and academies.
We can’t say that CAN has done nothing but one can always ask questions. Is it enough?
There are some questions CAN should address sooner than later. Probably, some questions that Nepali cricket fans want to ask would resemble with mine. Let us hope CAN would answer these questions.
- What are the plans for World Cup Qualifiers preparation?
- Are we lobbying at international level (at least in India) for match exposures to the national team with better teams?
- Are you seriously lobbying with government agencies to speed up infrastructure development programs?
- Is there any detail plan for seeking new talents?
The sooner we find answers to these, the better it would be for Nepali cricket.