Nepal’s Cricketing Stalwart Gyanendra Malla Hangs up his Boots

Gyanendra Malla, the former captain of the Nepali National Cricket Team, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

Malla formally announced his retirement while organizing a press conference in Naxal, Kathmandu on Friday. During the conference, Malla expressed satisfaction that he got the opportunity to represent the national team for almost two decades.

“For 18 years, I had the opportunity to represent the country, wearing a jersey with the moon and sun. I also had the privilege to represent Nepal as vice-captain and captain, carrying the country’s flag on my shoulders. I always tried to give 100 percent with sincerity whenever I stepped on the field, as I saw myself as a symbol of the hopes and dreams of the nation. I am very grateful for these opportunities, and I took difficult situations as opportunities to learn. Overall, I am very satisfied.”

“This is not a farewell; This is a new chapter of my journey. A journey where I will be a staunch supporter of the sport, a witness to its growth, and proudly watching the flag of the country that loves me fly ever so high.” Malla said.

Malla made his debut for the national cricket team in the ICC Intercontinental Cup (four-day) at Windhoek against Namibia in 2006. He made his T20 International debut in 2014 and One Day International debut in 2018. Before that, Malla played for the Nepali Under-15 National Team in 2005 and also represented Nepal’s under-17 and under-19 national teams.

In 37 one-day internationals for Nepal, he scored 876 runs with 7 fifties at an average of 24.33 and a strike rate of 66.46. Similarly, he scored 883 runs in 45 T20 Internationals at an average of 23.23 and a strike rate of 120.29, including 1 century and 2 fifties. On the bowling front, he has one ODI wicket to his name.

Malla led Nepal in 12 T20 Internationals and 10 ODIs between 2019 and 2021. The Nepal Cricket Association (CAN) gave vice-captain Malla the position of captain following Paras Khadka’s resignation. But because of a disagreement with CAN, he lost his position as captain.

Gyanendra Malla
Gyanendra Malla

Malla last played in the ODI World Cup qualifiers held in Zimbabwe in July this year, but he was not included in the squad for the Emerging Teams Cup held in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, he has not been included in the Asian Games team to be held in China from September 19.

Recently, Malla has been struggling with form, scoring only 73 runs in the last 10 matches for Nepal. Due to this slump, he found it difficult to secure a place in the national team’s playing eleven. Even during the ODI World Cup qualifiers, Malla only got a chance to play in two matches and had to sit on the bench in other matches.

As an important tournament like the Asia Cup is coming at the end of this month, to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the reason Malla chose the path of retirement was that he felt he could not contribute 100 percent anymore:

“I played all these years for the country, for myself, and my family. I believe now is the right time for me to retire. If I can’t contribute 100 percent after playing for the national team, I don’t think it would be fair to continue staying in the national team,” he explained.

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