Former Nepalese U19 cricketer Sunam Gautam, a regular name in the Victorian Premeir League in Melbourne, is planning a training program for Nepalese kids living in Australia and feels that it could help produce players for premier clubs, state teams and may be also for Australia in the future. The initiative titled “Himalayan Kidz Program” is scheduled to begin from August 7th and will last for 8 weeks in Melbourne with an initial estimate of 30 kids ranging from an age of 3 to 15.
Taking with the media Sunam Gautam said, “This is the first time any exclusive cricket training program for Nepalese kids is happening in Australia. This came up to my mind when I saw Aussie kids having such program every year and I felt it as the reason why Australia are world champion. They start to play cricket at a very young age. In every training session, parents bring their kids for such program and slowly and steadily they pick up their game and play for school, club, state and Australia. And why cant people from from our community do the same, lets start and see how far we can go. We may struggle and feel hopeless in the beginning but I am sure we can give at least one player to Australia who will play for Australian cricket team. Australia have given lots of things for Nepalese community and now it’s our turn to give something in return as a thanks – one super star for them.”
“Like Usman Khawaja, Gurinder Sandhu, Fawad Ahmed we will try to add one player from Nepalese community. I have got very good response and I am also worried if we get more than 30 kids ( the initial plan is to start with 30 )
at the beginning but if we really get more than that, we will not disappoint any kids who really wants to play cricket.
Playing cricket also help kids to develop their ability to win, make them fit and energetic, and most importantly gives them happiness. As cricket is so popular is Australia as well as back in Nepal, Nepal cricket team is also doing so good these days, Preston Himalayan cricket club also have plans to form U12 and U15 boys and girls team and participate in those level, which will gives those kids more exposure and experience. We are hoping to get at least 15 girls as well and start to train them. Cricket Australia has already started women Big Bash League so we are hoping to get ladies cricketer who can feature in that WBBL.”, he added.
Hussain Hanif, who had been the coach of Victoria in 2015 season, will head the training program. His experience coupled with Sunam Gautam’s understanding of the Nepali cultural and linguistic dynamism can work wonders to the kids involved. Gautam still remains the only Nepalese player in history to play in premier league’s 1st XI team and has some prolific returns to his name including his best of 82. “This is the beginning of new era for Nepalese community and we hope everyone will support for this long term project.” Gautam added.
“There are around 80000 to 100000 Nepali all over the Australia including students and everyone loves cricket and we will try to continue this program if we get support from cricket lovers”,he added.
Sunam Gautam had played for Nepal in U17, U19 tournaments before travelling to Australia for further study but his cricketing talent in his blood forced him to play domestic clubs and his side was crowned champions in his first season.Back in his days in his homeland, in the 1st edition of Kathmandu Cricket League, Gautam had scored 179 from 83 deliveries with 23 fours and seven sixes at Tudikhel, Kathmandu.