A great hope fell
You heard no noise
The ruin was within
Oh! Cunning wreck that told no tale
and let no one witness in
Amazing how Emily Dickinson perfectly penned her words which would fit the present scenario of Nepali Cricket.
A team with an abundance of potential, a collection of ‘probable world beaters’ making a grand entrance at the big stage only to falter like a house of cards. A nation only known at the age group levels had somehow made its way to the top with their seniors too. After the exciting exploits in their maiden ICC World T20 appearance, a small nation from the Himalayas was destined towards greatness. Young guns with outrageous potential with ever supporting Gorkhali faithful were to be among the big boys as elite in world cricket. Yet another naturally talented young cricketing nation in the fray ready to join the top division. But somewhere down the line things didn’t go as planned or wished or dreamt of.
The road map was there, the gears were well-oiled, the trails were made but somehow this young team with sights of glory in the eyes was lost in the fog. It was lost in the winter storm which didn’t even exist. The team somehow failed to live up to the expectation of being the next starlets in the world cricket. Nobody mentioned where it all went wrong. Nobody could point out that rogue piece in the puzzle. Nobody explained what happened.
Well, nobody knew who the actual culprit is whether it’s the association, players, or infrastructures etc., but at least each one them have a fair share of blame, that’s one truth for sure. They are all accountable in some way or another and the math for the respective share of mistakes can only be carried out through a proper debate, discussion and deliberation.
Just like Nepal, a fellow country in its own political and economic turmoil separated by just few hundred miles, introduced itself towards the world in a quite similar fashion. A young team rising through adversity against the odds, despite the hardships made its way among the elites of the game.
They capitalized the minuscule opportunities they were provided with and proved their doubters wrong in each and every moment of their cricketing journey. Their achievement grew leaps and bound as the time passed by and finally got served with the Holy Grail: The Test status – the ultimate zenith of the game. Such achievements were not an overnight lottery, not just lady luck dancing in Afghanistan’s favor but years of focus, determination, dedication, hard work and patience – all culminated together.
Whereas Nepal, is just a few mistakes away from relishing the Division II cricket, yet again. They are just few ‘wild swing of the bat'(Binod Bhandari) away from the disaster. They are just couple of ‘improvised but failed ‘(Gyanendra Malla) shot away from the debacle or some careless no-balls (Sompal Kami) away from the catastrophe.
The time has actually come to rise up and fulfill every ounce of potential Nepal shows. How long are they going to walk over to the same wall again and again and expect different result every time? How long before they get over this Groundhog Day?
The concerned authorities are at their wits end but hasn’t the time come for the players to step up and perform beyond their ability or at least to theirs? Something Afghani-ish maybe? Somebody has to save the day before it becomes a series of colossal disaster. Players are the only last resort who can help through this vicious cycle of hopelessness and disappointment.They need to raise their game at all costs in such dire straits. It’s time for the players to step up before it is too late. Either performs well and embraces the upcoming glory nights or gets caught grasping the straws waiting for other teams to play.
It’s not the time to get back to the drawing board all again but to fight with the resources at the disposal. It’s not the time to cry over spilt milk. It’s time for Paras Khadka to show why he deserves to be, dare I say, ‘next to god’ figure in Nepal Cricket. It’s about time Sharad Vesawkar to pull his socks up and pour all the experience he has ever had. Malla needs to transform his much sung ‘technical gift’ into a run making machine, like he usually does in practice matches. The time is ripe for Dipendra Singh Airee to hit the nail in the head before the ship sails. The crisis man Basant Regmi along with the best thing that has ever happened after the sliced bread, Sandeep need to turn the match in Nepal’s favor along with the ball. It’s time the players identify their roles and perform their duty and lead the nation up to the finishing line before its too late.
The next four games against Hong Kong (twice) and UAE (twice) will help in determining the future of Nepali cricket. Playing a World Cup qualifier and gaining an ODI status will play vital role in the development of cricket in the country. The team is absolutely capable of achieving this feat and deserving as well. All depends upon how the players perform on the field come the match day.
Nepal will play against Hong Kong at Mong Hok on 13th and 15th October. The matches start at 07:15am Nepali Time and will be covered live by WicketNepal.com and live streamed in Hong Kong Cricket’s official YouTube Channel.
Writer: Omkar Shrestha
Bio: Self-proclaimed Jack of few trades, master of none.