It is time to stand up and give a prolonged applause to Paras and Team Nepal for their wonderful achievement!! Indeed we have dearth of words to thank them for making the dream come true of Nepal entering World Cup.
The journey started in 1996 and memories are still fresh in my mind. All the players of the ’96 team were skeptical about flying to play first ACC Trophy in Malaysia until we boarded the Thai Airways flight to Bangkok and then to Malaysia. Once we boarded the flight we told to each other “aba ta udine bho” (Now we will fly).
Nepali Cricket has come long way since then, at international level, with several achievements to cherish. A lot of things have changed at local level too. The fan following has amplified dramatically. The media interest has improved by leaps and bounds. Government has also started showing concern for the development of the game. More interestingly, interest of people to be in CAN has gone up dramatically.
However, what has not changed since 1996 till date is the way cricket is being managed and played at domestic level. Still, we have just one national tournament. Still, players face miserable conditions while playing domestic cricket. Still, cricketing facilities at domestic event are same. Still, training facilities at domestic level is absent. Still, players are not supported and groomed when they really need at district level. Still, volunteers at district level are not recognized for their unconditional contribution for the development of cricket in the country. Still, cricketers are not playing active part on the cricket management and development process.
The journey from here is going to be far tougher than the journey we have completed till now. Expectation of fans across the country is huge. Now whole world has an eye on Nepali cricket. Now, after achieving so much we don’t want to see our team going down from here. If we want to sustain the present glory, things at domestic level needs to change radically. We must get cricketers involved in the cricket development and management process to move forward.
At this historic moment, I would like to thank all those unseen volunteers and cricketers across the country for their wonderful contribution to the game. We cricketers do recognize your invaluable and generally unnoticed contribution for this achievement. It is your effort, which has yielded fruit today.
Ed: The writer is former captain of Nepal cricket team.