As a curious cricket supporter, I always wanted to interact with people who loved cricket and talk more about it. It was that time when I parted with my friends and I needed a different platform to share views and opinions. I was in a facebook group called Nepali Cricket Fans on Facebook which was exclusively for Nepali cricket and I was very active there. I thought I would create a different group for international cricket. And then there was birth of Panel of Cricket Experts aka PCE.
I started it with my close friends first and gradually the number of members started to flow in. It wasn’t the first cricket group but it was the most appealing of the lot. So people started liking it. There has been a long journey from the day it was created and we have travelled thus far. Today the group is celebrating its sixth anniversary. And I would like to thank each and everyone who were part of this journey.
Building Bonds of Friendship
The theme was pretty simple: to create a bond among the cricket lovers. It was not just a facebook group limited to posting, commenting or liking. People from different places of the country supporting different teams were all unified by the bond of friendship and brotherhood. Even today, if you ask this question to a member active or not, how many people you knew personally or became friends with from the group, I bet they would find hard time remembering all names. And since cricket is in the blood and they share common interests, the friendship is not just confined to facebook, it is a long lasting one.
So this was the trend started. It was a culture; culture where you get closer to friends with similar interest, share ideas and views and interact with them in cricket and also build a relationship with them outside cricket. And this culture is continuing even today. We also had a culture of wishing luck for members appearing in exams, congratulating them in their successes or even celebrating their birthdays. These stuffs may not be related to cricket but these things helped in reducing distance between the members. As the numbers of members started increasing, we had to discontinue this.
Initiations and Innovations:
If you want to be successful than other, you have to be different than others. So we started different new things. We used to discuss about different players, both current and past. We used to discuss about games, analyze results. During season of Nepali cricket, we used to nominate any popular member of the group as the guest and all other members would ask questions to him about the match. We promoted predictions and fantasy for not only international games but also matches played by Nepali team. We brought the concept of virtual auction where members were asked to buy players from an auction using a virtual purse, build a team and thus test their skill level, in addition to fun and thrill associated with it.
We did start friendly indoor tournaments among members. We had a concept to recognize best members of the group every year. In every anniversary, we started asking members to write their own stories and share their memorable moments in cricketing life. There are many others. Some of these are still continuing, some may be discontinued because of different reasons. We simply wanted people to get engaged and enjoy in the group. We wanted them feel this is not somebody else’s group, this is our own group. These all were what people knew PCE for.
Highs and Lows:
Like any journey of life, there were many highs and lows in the group too. I think the best period for the group was when there were members less than 10 thousand. I would say it was like a golden period for the group and still today I dream of those days and try to bring those back. But those days were like childhood days, you enjoyed a lot but cannot bring those again.
Just like there is Messi vs Ronaldo in football, there is India vs Anti India support in cricket. We were stricter with the rules, so debate of that sort or spat was not possible but still some members from both sides felt they were oppressed in the group. Some of them left the group, while we had to remove the others. Though we moved on, somewhere I still think what different could I have done then. Likewise cricket is followed in generations. Any generation will face a situation where studies, career and family take top priorities and they have very less time for cricket. Because of that, slowly, we are also losing our core members. Somehow, we are failing to capture or attract next generation of cricket followers. But we are hopeful; we can hit the sky again.
Since once you set standards, expectations are high and sometimes they are hard to meet and maintain. The core members of the group are struggling to manage time now. So except for big tournaments and big series, the group activities are very less now. We are looking for some younger generation cricket followers to carry the group forward. We have a lot of new ideas. But sometimes we also need funds to implement them and we lack it. Spending from pocket is not always possible and this has been the problem, the financial part. For the group to grow and flourish, we also need Nepali cricket at its best. And then we can bring the normal people to watch cricket. We hope Nepal qualifies for the World Cup Qualifiers. Franchise cricket has started in Nepal. We can get involved in more ways now. Our short term plan is to give our best and once you starting doing well; you don’t need publicity.
In the next 2-3 years, there are big world events coming up and these will also be big years for Nepali cricket. We have big plans for all these. We are thinking about something entirely different. We need your support. We all love together; together we can achieve big. We want our members to feel proud of being in the group, again.
“Even the greatest of trees acorn from the small seeds” ~ Dravidian Bimal (Admin)
“Even the greatest of trees acorn from the small seeds” The story of the Panel of Cricket Experts is the same. We started from the scratch with minimal of participants and now here we are, with 42,865 members currently. Irrespective of the number of members, this group has always been about passion, fraternity, and the love we share for the beautiful game of Cricket. That motto or spirit has only bolstered in the years gone by. And with the kind of interest we have in Cricket, this group and infatuation for Cricket will only foster and prosper from here on.
“The best part is I have learned a lot about Nepalese cricket team and players” Ankush Ojha (Member)
Panel of Cricket Experts is the trend setter for active discussion and sharing of cricketing knowledge one has. The beauty of the group lies in the unity of the people and the active participants who continuously update the current information of the game. The best part is I have learned a lot about Nepalese cricket team and players over a period of time. PCE is like an off stadium commentary with a great panel of experts.
“PCE is one of best thing happened in my life.” Kiran Bartuala (Member)
Since long PCE has been a platform where cricket critics discuss about the genuine and rising issue related to cricket. Specially, the group is more about the expert view regarding the domestic cricket and cricket around the globe. It has really played a big role to engage and connect the cricket followers . As I am the member of this group from very beginning, I really found it amazing. Cricket is my passion and cricket is my love; and PCE adds the amazing flavour in it. Like the view of Himalayas, like the sound of flowing rivers , like the beauty of nature, PCE has been the most amazing, awesome and wonderful platform for rising cricket craze in Nepalese community . Another best part about PCE is, I have found some awesome and very close friends in my life. What you need if you enjoy your passion, exploring love for the game that runs in your blood and getting amazing people in your life in a single platform. PCE is one of best thing happened in my life.
“It’s not only just a group; it’s a family.” Rojan Pokharel (Member)
Panel of cricket Experts, it’s not only just a group; it’s a family where we can share our feelings about cricket. Being a part of PCE we can get good things to learn about the game. The thing that I like the most is its environment; all the members of the group follow the gentlemen’s game and analysis of the ongoing game. Important thing is that the quality of the group is maintained; credit goes to all the members of the group as well as the admins, who are devoted on this subject matter. The prediction of the game, post match analysis, score update during the game makes us updated even when we are busy on our own work and not able to watch the match.
“PCE have helped me to watch and understand cricket differently” Abinass Baral (Member)
I love Panel of Cricket Experts because it gave me a platform to talk, discuss and enjoy cricket properly. The people I’ve met in PCE have helped me to watch and understand cricket differently and many of them have become great friends over the internet and real life. PCE, for me, is not just a group, it’s a family. I enjoyed being part of this family and I wish it more success in the days to come.