The role Nepal can play to change the fate of Associate cricket
“For associate teams to develop their game we must play against better teams and at higher lever constantly. The opportunity must be given to more teams so that this game can grow further. We need more teams competing against each other. The world Cup must be played between more countries so that more people have access to this beautiful game.” – Paras Khadka, Captain, Nepal Cricket Team.
Sachin Tendulkar, the name is enough, -“ICC’s decision to reduce the number of teams in the 2019 World Cup is a backward step in the global expansion of cricket and the lack of consistent matches available to Associate sides is unfair.”
18 ardent cricket fans from 18 different associate nations and 5 from Test nations have combined to form a 23-men Associate Fans group to send an enduring message to International Cricket Council (ICC) to reverse its short-sighted decision to reduce the top cricket event World Cup to mere 10 teams from the 2019 edition.
Kenya reached semi-finals in 2003 World Cup, Ireland made several headlines by beating Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and break many records against England in win against them in world cup games. Many cricket fans still remember Canada’s John Davison’s heroics against West Indies. And there are other numerous examples when Associate has come short just because of their inexperience to close the matches against big teams. And now, ICC wants to rob the only opportunity to gain experience against them.
Bhanu Sigdel, the president of Nepal Cricket Supporters’ Society (NCSS), has been leading the campaign for Nepal and has been active in social media via their official accounts to get more signatures for the noble cause. NCSS have earned loads of praise from fans and media alike in recent times for their contributions in lifting the profile of cricket fans in the nation.
NCSS has managed to collect 85% of total 570 votes from Nepal so far (Friday, Sept 22, 2017). Nepal is the top associate in terms of fan following and he urges Nepali fans to help the cause as much as possible which may decide the fate of the whole Associate cricket world.
Afghanistan is another associate nation (now a Test nation) with huge fan following but they have only mustered 10% of votes from the aforementioned total. Clearly, Nepali fans are proving to be the difference in the campaign which makes their role much more important.
It is very easy to sign the petition. Click on the link below. Enter your ‘First Name’, ‘Last Name’ and your e-mail ID at right side of the page. It’s done. And don’t forget to share the page to your friends.
Loads of international personalities from Test nations are joining for the cause. The moment total votes will reach 50,000, it will be sent to the ICC headquarters.
“The decision to reduce the world cup to ten teams threatens not only the development of cricket in top associate nations but the identity of cricket as a truly global sport. The decision must be reversed. We fans of associate world collectively are making the effort that provides proper balance to not only established cricket nations but aspiring nations too. For this we need as much as possible help from all Nepalese cricket lovers, players, Medias and other stakeholders.” –Bhanu Sigdel, the president, NCSS.
“His pace is, probably, the best after Sompal Kami and Karan KC”
MCL’s first edition is all done and dusted. It has officially put Pokhara on the cricket map, which was popularly recognized for Deepesh Khatri. LCP Downtowns won the first edition despite the heroics from Macchapucchre Lions throughout the tournament, and especially the experienced assassin Deepesh Khatri who seems to get better with age like an old wine. Nevertheless, his experience is crucial for budding cricketers of future.
There were plenty of names worth remembering for coming years. Lanky tall Binay Bhandari and rocket-pocket Sudip Poudel provided some brutal assaults in the tournament T20 cricket is known for. Man of the tournament, Deepesh Khatri stated, “On their day they can destroy any bowling attack to bits and pieces.”
Abhishek Thapa, the young batting prodigy received rave reviews for the unreal maturity level for his age. The 16-year-old bats like a pro and is a chirpy kind while fielding.
Teenager Kishore Chhantyal couldn’t put up the numbers but he is all class and has sound technique than can take him to places in coming years. Given, he plays proper and regular cricket.
Out of the six teams the best wicketkeeper batsman from the tournament was Mahesh Regmi of Machhapuchhre Lions. He traveled the distance from Faridabad, India to participate in the inaugural MCL. He hails from Syangja but stays with his family in Faridabad and learnt his cricket there.
However, the talk of the town was the out and out pace bowling of Ashok Shrestha. “He is fast and he is furious. His pace is, probably, the best after Sompal Kami and Karan KC” said Deepesh Khatri who once mentored Karan KC on his arrival at Nepal and has faced Sompal in various domestic tournaments. Ashok also hails from Syangja proving the place to be with enormous quality if given the proper stage.
And last but not the least, Pokhara’s own Deepesh Khatri stood his ground against the young and upcoming players despite niggling knee and weak shoulder. He outperformed promising youngsters to be the Player of the Tournament.
Machhapuchhre Cricket League’s Dream XI
Agindra Chhantyal (Parbat Titans: 76 runs, 11 wickets, 4 catches & 2 run-outs)
Paras Lamichhane (Parbat Titans: 85 runs, 6 wickets & 1 catch)
Sudip Poudel (LCP Downtown: 187 runs, 2 fifties, 5 wickets & 4 catches)
Mahesh Regmi (WK) (Machhapuchhre Lions: 108 runs, 4 catches & 1 stumping)
Deepesh Khatri (Machhapuchhre Lions: 151 runs & 4 wickets)
Vinay Bhandari (Informatics College Cheetahs: 108 runs, 5 wickets & 5 catches)
Krishna Sen (LCP Downtown: 128 runs, 3 wickets & 4 catches)
Ashok Shrestha (KKAF Syangja Challengers: 8 wickets & 1 catch)
Raju Gurung (LCP Downtown: 10 wickets & 2 catches)
Raju Thapa (Parbat Titans: 9 wickets & 3 catches)
Biru Gurung (LCP Downtown: 14 wickets & 2 catches)
Know your Opponent: Nadeem Ahmed
A 30-year-old Pakistan born left-arm spinner is the most successful bowler of ongoing ICC World Cricket League Championship. He has collected 20 wickets in 9 matches with an average of under 15 runs and misery economy of 4 runs per over. He has been go-to strike bowler for Hong Kong in WCLC picking up wickets in every 22 deliveries which is 12 deliveries less than his overall List A record. That is 2 to 3 wickets in each match conceding only 40 runs if he delivers his full quota of overs. Needless to say, Ahmed has been in devastating form at best.
Ahmed’s most recent 4-wicket-haul for 33 runs, his second-best returns in ODIs, came against Scotland on Jan 22, 2017 when Hong Kong began their UAE Tri-nations series campaign with a dominant seven-wicket win, set up largely through his performance and his captain Babar Hayat.
The left-arm spinner is very adept to bowl with the new ball too with positive results to back his numbers. He was rock-solid in the 2015 World T20, taking a T20I career-best 4 for 21 against Bangladesh.
The experienced spinner has been key Hong Kong’s recent consistent performances at international level. They have been unfortunate losing two close matches in home against the Netherlands and a match in Scotland which was washed away. Nadeem Ahmed along with Tanvir Afzal and Anshuman Rath (who were discussed in previous editions) are true match winners for HK.
Story of the Week: Hong Kong Tour Of Perth
The Western Australian Cricket Association is hosting the Hong Kong National Team at the WACA Ground and Murdoch University as part of an effort to grow cricket in developing International Cricket Council (ICC) countries. The initiative, funded by the ICC, will give Hong Kong invaluable exposure to Australian First Class wickets and environments. Hong Kong will use this trip to prepare for the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup.
WACA CEO Ms. Christina Matthews said: “Cricket is a diverse sport, and we want to continue to grow its diversity. It’s a privilege to host a national side like Hong Kong and help to promote cricket in countries that don’t traditionally have a huge supporter base. Hong Kong will get to play on a world class wicket and our players will get a series of quality warm-up matches against a team they don’t normally get to play against, so it’s a win-win.”
The tour will see HK play three 50 over matches and one T20 match. Now, compare that to Nepal’s preparation tour of Chennai. Sums up the current scenario of cricket in both countries, more so on the administrative part.
Question of the Week: Why is Nepal cricket team not persuasive enough on game planning and selection procedure? -Saur Sigdel (@saursigd)
There are many reasons for this. This is a result of combined failure of system, leadership and philosophies.
1. Every team has its limitations. Nepal team cannot have a good pace bowler because there is no culture or system back at home that produces them. Similarly, we have very limited set of players to choose from. For example: Lohani was a great hitter of ball but lacked basics to survive for longer period of time. Naresh ticks all boxes when comes to basics but struggles clearing the fences. So, if you are choosing Naresh you miss on enigmatic Lohani and if you select Naresh, you are missing on assurances of Naresh. Hence, we are already sacrificing one facet of the game within a player that might be important in demanding match situations. And that affects our planning and selections.
2. A captain comes with a definite plan, which works for him. There is only certain kind of players which fits his plan to deliver the desired results. But the problem is the game plan or selections that worked in 2012 might not work in 2017. It is an ever evolving procedure that demands changes. If a captain fails to adjust or revamp his strategies that certainly affects planning and selections.
3. The sample size is too small. The time, in which many nations progressed, Nepal was regressed due to administrative inadequacies. That started a sort of chain reaction. Domestic cricket were disappeared from calendar. No matches resulted in any players. T20 cricket will only throw a name here and there but it doesn’t guarantees success in one-day cricket. Even the PM Cup had only few matches. Hence, the players are overlooked lacking the proper sample size to evaluate the potential, exceptions are always there.
4. Captain and coach became the selectors. Because we don’t have one. CAN is defunct. There are no official selectors right now. So what happened is like if you write an article or a certain answer in an exam paper, you wouldn’t find mistakes in it, no matter how many times you re-read it. Probably, same thing is happening with the current selection procedure. There is no one to make that edit. So we’re stuck with same tactics and same selections over the years.
5. Experience is of paramount importance. The current guys are tried and tested ones. Some of them despite having any stark numbers to back their selection have this experience which is something better than nothing.
Tweet of the Week: A very emotional tweet by a fan that has been following Nepali cricket since the start of social media era in Nepal. Birat Rayamajhi, now working as TV presenter and commentator for NTV, expressed his thoughts on twitter in wake of Nepal team’s recent practice match performances and voice of discontent by fans in social media.
(In English: Nepali fans’ losing their faith if Nepal team can even win depicts the current scenario of Nepali cricket.)
Here, Nepali fans clearly means, the exemplary Nepali fans who are known for supporting their team amid any impossible circumstances but are now started to accept the defeat gives us the glimpse of worrying state of cricket in Nepal.
Article of the Week: The monkey’s off Malla’s back
It is really difficult to find good articles on Nepali cricket. And once you find it make sure you share it. Here is Kathmandu Post’s Adarsh Dhakal with a piece on Gyanendra Malla written way back in 2014 which still makes sense. He shared this article on his Facebook account after vice-captain of national team scored another timely century against a Chennai based local club in their preparations for upcoming WCLC matches against Hong Kong in October.
Gyanendra Malla is known for churning out big hundreds for national team in practice matches before going silent in official matches. Here is Adarsha Dhakal dissecting the centuries he has made in past including the 167. Link