The Missing Nine (Directed by: Kiran Rana?)
How low can the Cricket governing body of Nepal sink? As low as human trafficking! All hell broke loose when the news surfaced that nine ‘players’ had gone missing from the tour to Japan. A local team from Kathmandu managed by former Boys Union Club goalkeeper Sundar Thapa & secretary of elected CAN Kiran Rana was in Japan to play some club cricket. Dramatically, both Rana and Thapa have claimed innocence on the matter saying they have no idea of who and why and how have the nine men out of the touring party gone missing. The total of 18 players included known players like Siddhant Lohani, Saurav Khanal, Prem Tamang, Sonu Tamang, Faizul Rehman & Amit Shrestha. Well, it is not like there were 180 men. To lose count! 18 went and 9 came back, including both the caretakers. Either both of them are lying or both of them are definitely lying!
Interestingly, a representative from the players has expressed that they knew none of the nine men who went missing from the tour neither had they participated in any sort of cricket match earlier. The team had to manage by chipping in cricketers already residing in Japan like national player Raj Kumar Pradhan.
It was all fishy from the start. Birat Rayamajhi, the managing director of wicketnepal.com but more so, the most recognizable fan of Nepali cricket, posted about this issue on his Facebook page on the aftermath of controversy. It raised more questions than answers, putting Kiran Rana on an uncomfortable situation. The government needs to dig to the roots of this problem. Seriously, it is an act of crime. It doesn’t matter how it happened, cricket or no cricket, such instances bring disrepute to a nation.
Current and former cricketers and fans organized a peaceful protest at Maitighar to voice against the ‘heinous act’ done under the veil of cricket and asked for prompt investigations. Just few months after ban on CAN, Bandula Warnapura, the ICC Asia development officer has asked National Coach Jagat Tamata (poor soul) for the clarifications on this whole matter.
There is no way Kiran Rana or Sundar Thapa should run away from this without proper explanations. There is no way nine men should disappear in thin air with no strings attached back to Nepal. This is not about cricket being in disrepute, this is Nepal’s pride at stake. We fail if men behind this go unpunished.
“ICC’s ban on Nepal is not because of me” -Bhawana Ghimire
Last week Radio Kantipur’s Madhusudan Panthi interviewed Bhawana Ghimire for his radio program The Headliners.
It was the first time that the first CEO of Cricket Association of Nepal was speaking in public since her resignation. To start with, she knew there were problems in CAN but still agreed for the job in a hope to bring professionalism. She was hardly involved in any meetings, or rather, hardly any decisions were made in her presence. There were various groups within the administration that never let cricket to be the focal issue.
Ghimire said, “CAN is like our country itself. Lack of consistency/stability has been the prime reason of its downfall.” She emphasized on how everybody put their own benefits over cricket despite being in the ‘cricket governing’ body.
The interview however dragged a tad bit as the interviewer moved on to Nepali cricket’s recent turmoil. This was when Ghimire calmly narrated some shocking revelations despite being predictable.
– No internet in the office since last 8/9 months.
– Central contracts were not renewed just after one year.
– Can’t even spend the fund made available by NTC.
– Ghimire is arranging regular stuffs for national team in international tours.
There were some side-splitting questions asked by callers at the end of the program. One even blamed Bhawana Ghimire for failing as CEO & allowing ICC to ban Nepal on her tenure. Not sure if that was really a random call or one out of those invincible 21. However, generously and calmly she denied the accusations.
The good thing (comparatively, just) that I learned is our national players are experienced enough (already been through so much) to not feel morally down which was evident in second game against Netherlands. Ghimire also raised alarming concerns over the political interference that could eventually kill cricket in Nepal.
Full interview here: The Headliners with Bhawana Ghimire
Article of the Week:
This is not an article that was published last week. But that shouldn’t stop it from being mentioned. Arun Upreti is a fond name in Nepal’s little cricket writing circle especially after his exploits in Espncricinfo few years ago. He almost exactly predicted the fate of Nepali cricket back then. You can google ‘Arun Upreti Cricinfo’.
For lazy bones: Domestic cricket in Nepal needs a lifeline
Now involved with wicketnepal.com, he came up with another unbeatable piece on state of women’s cricket in Nepal. Not just the state, it’s the whole story. The article makes you realize how Nepal, as a country and as a cricketing body, has failed. You sit down and wonder what if women were given equal facilities like men. What if Women Cricket was allowed to flourish like men’s? There is enough evidence on the article that it was/is actually possible. You might think for a country like Nepal where even men cricket is suffering, what can we do for women. Well, this article is written for you. Read it.
Full article here: The Sexist Story of Cricket in Nepal
Thought of the Week: Don’t let ODIs die a painful death
It doesn’t need to be a popular idea. May be I’m simply living under the stone. But we really need to do something with ODI cricket to bring some value and meaning back. Bilateral series are no new thing to ODI cricket but the spectacular rise of T20 tournaments has somewhat diminished the charm of ODI cricket in recent times. ODIs these days feel more like wannabe T20s. What’s the fun in that? On the other hand, not so popular yet highly effective WCLC continues to be the best format of ODI cricket after World trophies. So much at stake that it automatically sets up for compelling round of matches.
For example, even if Pakistan lose all five of their matches in England, it wont make any difference to their position in world cricket as a team. But if an associate nation loses 5 matches in a row, it might deprive them of a position in division one. This is not to say that associates should be given test status. This whole status thing is puzzling by itself. Just want to bring some meaning in pointless friendlies played between test teams. Just can’t take it anymore.
Why can’t the ODI’s be played in same mold? We used to have proper FTPs. Bring it back. Let the test nations host tournaments similar to WCLC as Premier Division. Make it three to five match series, adding on the current version of two. There it is. You got your years long tournament which will make watching ODIs captivating again. You can still play all the t20 tournaments and test cricket alongside meaningful ODIs in each tour.
Right now ODI is fighting for some relevance. Last week England broke all their batting records. It hardly even raised my eyebrows. Why? This will be a regular thing in coming days. ODIs are just becoming extended T20s. Like that mutant experiments in Marvel movies that has gone wrong. With IPL, BBL, CPL, such franchises getting stronger & wealthier each passing year, I really worry for ODI cricket. Don’t let ODIs die a painful death.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of the Week
The Good: Kudos to NIC Asia Bank for recognizing the endeavors of young cricketers from Nepal to pursue their careers. Raju Rijal & Prem Tamang, now sponsored by NIC Asia Bank for next two years, will definitely benefit by their latest deal. They will each receive Rs. 20,000 monthly with additional expenditure for their sports kits. The scholarships were arranged by Cricket Players Association of Nepal.
The Bad: Any week that passes without much development in Nepal cricket is bad.
The Ugly: What else it can be? Read the first topic.
Story of the Week: Almighty Susan Bhari!
Nothing much to follow up but the official cricket page of The Cornish Cricket Company released (click for) a live video which featured Susan Bhari bowling to England national team in nets before the Trent Bridge one day. England went on to make 444, the record score in ODI cricket, in the match. Some practice that turned out to be. Is Bhari better than Imad Wasim? Ok. Just jumped the gun.
Quote of the Week: DA 69
“I worked more than 10 years as sports reporter, conclusion that I made was ‘blame game’ is the main reason of cricket downfall.”
One of Nepal’s most popular rapper of yester-years and former sports news reader for Kantipur TV, Sudin Pokharel concluded thus on Nepali cricket, while replying to former CEO of CAN Bhawana Ghimire on twitter. Fondly remembered as DA 69 in Nepal’s music world, he himself was a passionate cricket lover back in his school days.
It’s been years since Sudin Pokharel has been around, yet the situations remain same. The cricket continues to fall.