Amrit Bhattarai is a left arm medium pace bowler, who made his debut for national senior side against Qatar in ACC Elite Cup 2008 but couldn’t cement his place. After an extra effort and good performance in youth level took him again in the National side in 2009/10 ACC trophy playing against Oman. He has been a regular member of National side since then before getting dropped for the Word cup Qualifiers in New Zealand. Nitesh Regmi talks to him about his childhood, cricket and something apart from cricket. Here is the full interview:
How did you get involved in cricket? What made you think you were made for cricket?
Actually when I was playing a tennis ball tournament in Bhairahawa, I took four wickets in a match. Nepal’s ex-captain Raju Khadka was also with me. He got impressed with me and told me that I had a bright future in cricket. From then, I felt that I could be a good player.
Did you have to face challenges from your own family when you decided to play cricket? Didn’t they oppose you from playing?
They did. When I played cricket, I could never play freely. My Mom and Dad always used to scold me. They said there is no future in cricket.
How was the reaction of your parents after you got selected to play from Nepal?
When I got selected for the first time, all the family members were happy. But again after some tours, they used to remind me that there is no future in cricket. Now from the last two years, they have supported me well.
Is there money in cricket now? Can a cricketer survive by playing cricket alone?
There is money but only when you are in the team. But when you are not in the team, there is no money. We can’t survive by playing cricket only. May be we could have if we had gained one day status.
What made you think that you will be a fast bowler? Why not a batsman or a spinner?
I think I had some natural qualities that are required in a fast bowler; height, body structure, bowling action, running.
You have spearheaded the national team’s bowling attack for quite a while. How did it feel to get dropped from the team?
These are parts of game. In sports you cannot perform every time. I will work hard and will be back in the team.
With no domestic matches around how do you see your possible comeback in the national team? How will you prove yourself?
It is difficult. But we will have a one month close camp before the World T20s and few practice matches. If I performed well there, I could be back in the team.
What do you want to say about Nepal’s poor performance in the world cup qualifiers? We lost all the matches including the warm-ups?
We missed Paras and Subash. Both were pillars in Nepal’s batting. And these are stronger teams too.
Are you happy with the performance of our young fast bowlers in New Zealand?
They are young. Good thing is that they got a good exposure. Every fast bowler needs to work hard to survive in this level.
You were the one who gave your jersey to Sompal in Sagarmatha Journey to World cup Tournament and you told him that he would get in the national team. What special did you see in him?
He is a very good bowler. He had more pace than other fast bowlers too. And I saw he could bowl a good bouncer too.
What do you want to say about our coach Pubudu? He being a batsman and a wicket-keeper himself, how did he help in your bowling?
He is a good coach and had good idea about fast bowling too. But he is not the one to coach the fast bowlers.
Do you think a specialist bowling coach will have helped our fast bowlers?
Yes, it would have helped to some extent, but I think fast bowling comes natural to players.
You must have played under Roy Dias as well as Pubudu Dassanayka. What difference did you find between the two?
Roy Dias had an old thinking; Pubudu has a new one that’s the only difference between the two. Coaching style is similar. We used to practice maximum 4 hours under Dias, we are practicing 7-8 hours under Pubudu.
You were part of the team when Nepal qualified for the World T20 in Bangladesh. What was the feeling when Sharad Vesawkar hit the winning run and Nepal qualified?
World Cup was my dream, so that shot fulfilled my dream. I was feeling like…… I can’t say in words.
Who was your role model in cricket?
Of course Raju Khadka
What about International players?
Mitchel Johnson and Zaheer Khan in bowling and Ricky Ponting and Virender Sehwag in batting.
Where would you be if you were not involved in cricket?
I don’t know
Your first crush? Or a dream girl?
Sonakshi Sinha. Her cuteness, acting and figure. ‘Malai halka moti type ko keti man parchha’ ( I like healthy girls)
Lastly, what do you want to say to the cricket fans and supporters?
I want to say them just keep supporting our team. Please don’t compare our team with test playing countries. Don’t expect too much from our team because we are playing for the first time at this level. Other teams have been playing from last five six years. We will definitely do better in future.