Momocricket Diaries 02: Burning Questions regarding Saurav Khanal

Saurav Khanal

Burning Questions regarding Saurav Khanal’s omission

1. Nepal’s bowling is one of the best in associate cricket. In fact, our efficient bowling is the primary reason we still are a potent side in the WCLC. How should Saurav be judged on the basis of his failures against the likes of Basant Regmi, Sompal Kami or Mehboob Alam? Even the guys like Sushil Kandel and Jeetendra Mukhiya are equally capable bowlers. There are plenty of examples in world cricket where batsmen carried poor domestic stats but had a great international career.

2. Nepal team is all set to travel to India in a practice tour as preparations for Hong Kong series. They will be playing at least 4 to 5 matches. Only 16 of the selected 18 will be travelling with the senior team as Dipendra Airee and Sandeep Lamichhane are assigned for ACC U-19 tournament. Couldn’t have senior team taken Khanal and maybe Hasim Ansari too with them in place of two empty spots, and then decide on final 14 after evaluating their performances against Indian local sides?

3. It is ironic that an annoying pattern is developing in ‘Closed Camps’ that somehow players who have performed extraordinarily in domestics are being eliminated from the picture for various reasons. Not long ago, Fazlur Rahman lacked fitness, Aakash Bista had disciplinary problems, Siddhant Lohani was ambiguously unorthodox and now Saurav Khanal just could not put up numbers in the camp. What actually happens in the camp where these gifted players fail to impress?

Saurav Khanal
Siddhant Lohani was ambiguously unorthodox and now Saurav Khanal just could not put up numbers in the camp.

4. Even if one agrees that Saurav Khanal failed to grab his opportunity in the closed camp, when it really mattered, it should not be a reason to shut that player down who single handedly carried his region to semi-finals of the only domestic cup that happened in Nepal after eternal years. Although, he failed to impress in the camp, he definitely grasped it with both hands when he played for Western DR. Saurav did have a very good Dhangadhi Premier League alongside skipper Paras Khadka in Team Chauraha’s title-winning campaign. What happened to him now? He was discarded for failing to perform in “closed camp” where players are supposed to get help so that they can develop their skills and correct any deficiency in techniques.

5. Nepal does not need a century maker at no.7. They are struggling to find a proper finisher for some time now. Nepal needs a player who can actually hit boundaries at will. Hong Kong grounds are relatively smaller. Also, Hong Kong bowlers do not carry the same reputation as their Nepalese counterparts or bowlers from other top associate nations. It was an opportunity to try Khanal, who definitely has better techniques than the previous reject Lohani. Bhandari is struggling for form. Sagar Pun has had too many inconsistencies in his batting order. Sompal is still looked upon as a bowler. Seems like team Nepal will carry their problems for the next couple of matches too.

Know your opponent: Anshuman Rath

Odia boy Anshuman Rath was recently promoted to vice-captain role for Hong Kong national team. A wicketkeeper-batsman, Rath is better known as Anshy among his teammates. His parents hail from Satyanagar in Bhubaneswar. Anshuman made his One Day international debut for Hong Kong on November 8, 2014 against Papua New Guinea in Australia. Since then, he has never looked back. So far in his brief career, he has played for Hong Kong, Harrow School, Hong Kong Under-16, Middlesex 2nd XI, Middlesex Under-17, Middlesex Under-19. He is expected to represent Middlesex senior team, a county from England with Lord’s as their home ground.

Anshuman Rath . Picture – Hong Kong Cricket

In 14 List-A matches, Anshuman has scored 694 runs at an average of 54 runs and a strike rate of 84 (almost 90 in WCLC matches). 498 of his career runs have come in the ongoing WCLC. He is the top run-getter in WCLC in 7 matches so far. The left-handed opener has registered 6 fifties to his name; four of them came in WCLC, with his best 134 against the Netherlands. He can also bowl handy left arm orthodox spin. Rath has already picked up 16 wickets so far with an economy of less than 4 runs an over and a dismissal to his name in every 27th delivery he bowls.

The 19-year-old prodigy has out-performed established names such as Stephen Baard, Shaiman Anwar and Paras Khadka in WCLC. Rath has definitely filled in the boots emptied by Mark Chapman, who is now committed and concentrating on forging a career for New Zealand. Anshy is a very talented player who will need some stopping if Nepal fancies its chances of progressing at the expense of Hong Kong.

Imran Tahir incident is a blow for Pakistan Cricket

South African cricketer and World XI squad member Imran Tahir ─ who is due to play the Independence Cup series in Lahore this month ─ accused the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham of “humiliating” him and his family when they attempted to apply for a visa to travel there.

“Me and my family were humiliated and expelled from the Pak High Commission earlier today when I went to get a visa to play the World XI in Pakistan,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Tahir, a cricketer of Pakistani origin, said he had visited the consulate to obtain Pakistani visas for himself and his family members but had to endure a “traumatic” five-hour wait after which he was “expelled by the staff explaining that the office hours are over and they are closing the consulate”.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir . Picture ( ICC )

“It was only after the intervention of [Pakistan] High Commissioner Ibn-e-Abbas who instructed the staff that we were issued visas,” he said. Tahir added, “It’s an irony that being Pakistani origin South African cricketer and intending to play in World XI was treated so miserably.”

Responding to Tahir’s complaint, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said action would be taken against those responsible.

Story of the Week : Herschelle Gibbs to coach in Afghanistan T20

Former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs has been appointed coach of the Speenghar Tigers in the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL), Afghanistan’s premier Twenty20 tournament. Gibbs will coach Tigers, captained by Shahid Afridi. Gibbs confirmed: “Yes, I will be joining the Speenghar Tigers as the coach.”

The 43-year-old Gibbs’ is another name in the increasing popularity coach-per-tournament roles with former Proteas teammates Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith are also fashioning careers as coaches across Twenty20 cricket’s global landscape.

Herschelle Gibbs to coach in Afghanistan T20 . Photo – ACB

Kallis was a mentor at the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sydney Thunder in the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League respectively, while Smith will coach the Benoni Zalmi in South Africa’s inaugural T20 Global League – where Kallis will be in charge of the Cape Town Knight Riders.

The six-team Shpageeza Cricket League will start in Kabul on September 12, and see the Tigers compete alongside the Boost Defenders, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Mis Ainak Knights, Kabul Eagles and Amo Sharks for the coveted title.

The tournament was originally scheduled for July, but a bomb blast in the host city forced a two-month delay.

Quote of the Week

A heartfelt message posted by sub-editor of The Kathmandu Post and avid sports writer Adars Dhakal on his Facebook profile.

“In 1986 Jay Kumar Nath Shah brought Nepal ICC Affiliate Membership. In 1996 Jay Kumar Nath Shah brought Nepal ICC Associate Membership. In 2016, Cricket Association of Nepal was suspended. Now that calls for an appeal to Rest in Peace.”

Tweet of the Week

The Sydney resident former alumnus of Espncricinfo had this to tweet on increasing numbers of Nepal citizens in Sydney:

Movie of the Week : Sully

Easily the best movie in recent times based on the true incidents. There is a strong chance you will spend few hours on YouTube after watching the movie. And if you do that before watching the movie, do watch the movie anyway; the movie is truly an untold story.

The drama and intensity is all along. It might leave you in tears. Client Eastwood is an outstanding director and keeps outdoing himself with gripping tales.

Picture Credit : Geek News Network

Tom Hanks is the heart of the film. Needless to say, the acting is top notch. Aaron Eckhart as Jeff Skiles also did a great job with his subtle humor and great screen presence. He makes you wanting more of the character.

Without revealing much, overall great performances, superb screenplay, neat editing and fabulous visual-audio effects and the fact is a true story makes this film a must watch.

Sully is an awe-inspiring tale of a catastrophe, courage and calmness amid all chaos.

Momocricket Diaries 01 : 

The Rise of the Private Leagues

With cricket from Nepal. Fondly known as Momocricket. Once managed NCFC cricket team. Firmly believe Nepal can achieve way more in cricket. Consultant Engineer at Dream Fapla.