Is Time Running Out?

Recently, former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh was presented with Team Nepal Jersey, in London. Apparently, Waugh was pleased to receive the jersey and keen to learn about cricket development in Nepal.

The team Nepal jersey was presented by a group of Nepalis, including Gagan Thapa. Yes, you guessed it right: Gagan Thapa, the politician. While those who have been following cricket need no introduction for Steve Waugh, many would not know the interest Gagan Thapa has in cricket. Steve Waugh has been known for his fighting style of cricket and a ruthlessly efficient captain of Cricket Australia. He has been one of known names lobbying for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics.

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Women’s Cricket: Preparing for Future?

Biratnagar seems to be stamping its authority on youth cricket. That is what looks like, with the region’s title win at the Women’s U-19 National Cricket Championship, following the boys’ win at similar championship a few months earlier.

It appears as if things are on the right track for the region that has given as many as 7 players in the men’s national squad (among 14) in 2002. The region that has won 4 back to back national championships seems to be back to producing quality cricketers again.

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पुबुदु इफेक्ट

नेपाल वर्ल्ड क्रिकेट लिग डिभिजन थ्रीको विजेता बनेर घर र्फकदा, एयरपोर्टमा करीब १००-१५० को भीड आफ्ना खेलाडिहरुको स्वागतार्थ भेला थिए । स्वाभाविक कुरो, आफ्नो हिरोहरुलाइ हौसला दिने प्रशंसकको कर्तव्य नै हो ।

विभिन्न नाराको बीच एउटाले आवाज लगाए, “पुबुदु दासानायकेǃ” भीड समवेत स्वरमा चिच्यायो, “जिन्दाबादǃ”

नेपाली क्रिकेटका हेड कोच पुबुदु छुट्टीमा गएकाले टीमसँग नेपाल फर्किएनन् नत्र यो नाराले उनी प्रफुल्लित हुन्थे होलान् । खेलाडिसँगै प्रशिक्षकको जयजयकार कमै देखिन्छ । तर यो नारा उनको नेपाली क्रिकेटमा गरेको योगदानको प्रशंसाको रुपमा लिन सकिन्छ ।

प्रश्न उठ्छः क्रिकेटमा कोचको के महत्व हुन्छ?

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विश्वकप होइन वान डे

आधा शताब्दी अघि, यसै साता (श्रम दिवसका दिन), बेलायतका दुइ काउन्टी लंकाशायर र लिसेस्टरशायर बीचको खेल हुदा शायदै कसैले सोचेका होलान् यो प्रतियोगिताले क्रिकेटको भविष्य ने बदलिनेछ ।

प्रतियोगिता थियो जिलेट कप, जसलाइ अहिले पनि पहिलो लिमिटेड ओभर (एक दिवसीय) प्रतियोगिता मानिन्छ । हुन त वर्षाले गर्दा खेल दुइ दिन चल्यो, तैपनि यो क्रिकेटको लागि कोशेढुंगा साबित भयो । यो भन्दा अघि क्रिकेट म्याचमा प्रत्येक टीम दुइ इनिङ्ग खेल्ने गर्थे र कुनै पक्षले खेल्ने ओभरको संख्यामा सीमा तोकिएको थिएन । तर कमैलाइ मात्र थाहा होला, वास्तवमा एक दिवसीय क्रिकेटको वास्तविक आरम्भ एक वर्षअघि नै भएको थियो, २ मे, १९६२ मा, लिसेस्टरशायर र र्डर्बीशायर बीच, मिडल्याण्ड्स नक आउट कपको नाम बाट ।

क्रिकेटको यो नयाँ स्वरुपको जन्मसंगै एउटा विवाद पनि जन्मियो, एक दिवसीयले क्रिकेटको पुरानो स्वरुप, टेष्ट म्याचलाइ नै नष्ट पार्ने त्रासको । स्वाभाविक रुपले प्रारम्भदेखि नै पुरातनपनथीहरुले एक दिवसीयलाइ मन पराएनन् । तर विवादले लामो समयसम्म स्वाभाविक विकास रोक्न सक्दैन । क्रिकेट कसरी अपवाद हुन सक्थ्यो । टेष्ट क्रिकेट चलिरह्यो एक दिवसीयको आगमन पछि पनि ।

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How Times Change…

Circa 2002: ICC Under-19 World Cup Plate Final – Nepal Vs Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe won by 137 runs. In a chase to score 248 runs, Nepal team managed a paltry 110. Failure at the end of the tournament… Yet, mission accomplished…

It might sound buffoonery to term defeat as completion of a mission. Yet, we knew that Nepali team did not go to the tournament aiming for silverware. It is difficult to imagine how much ICC Under-19 World Cup 2002 meant for Nepal Cricket, unless you’re a cricket fanatic, who followed Nepali cricket for past one and half decade.

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Memories of ’69

As a year draws to an end, you’re often asked, “What was the best moment for you this year?”

A Nepali is asked this question twice, every year. Once when the Common Era (CE or AD) comes to an end, and another when the official Nepal Calendar (BS) comes to a close. Based on your experience, you can be termed fortunate – for being able to relive two great moments every year – or unfortunate – if you can’t recollect the moments that can be called great.

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And the award goes to… the crowd!

Nepal finished as the second best team in ACC T20 Cup, amid a gripping fever that saw almost everyone on Nepali cyberspace (social media and alike) talking about the game. The runners-up medal came for Nepal, despite some outstanding and memorable performances during the tournament.

There were several moments for Nepali cricket fans to savour, be it Paras Khadka’s ‘leading from the front’ swagger on the field, or Sharad Veswakar’s ‘coming-of-age’ attacking batsmanship, or Prithu Baskota’s ‘match-turning’ bowling against UAE (semi-final). But, if I were told to remember one scene from the entire tourney, it would be the moment that Nepal lost the Cup.

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The Hope Called Cricket

Nepali dreams of seeing their women play against top flight cricket nations has been quashed. The opportunity for this team being a participant at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 – scheduled to be held in Bangladesh – has now been thrown out of the window. Because it did not finish as the top team in ACC Women´s Championship in Thailand, Nepali women’s team would not be travelling to Ireland this year, to play in the world cup qualifiers.

It’s disappointing for cricket fans. It is difficult to take heart from a match where your team scores all of 38 runs, in 25-over-a-side match, despite being one of the title contenders. It’s not easy to digest that the highest scorer from your team manages 7 runs off 19 balls (Sita Magar) and highest score is contributed by Ms. Extra.

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Nepal Cricket’s Turning Point

Cricket governing body of Nepal, CAN, now boasts of a National Cricket Academy. And, whether it goes right or wrong, formation of this institution would be seen in history as turning point for Nepali Cricket, for better or for worse.

It is difficult to say who should be more excited with the formation of this academy: players or cricket aficionados. It is obvious that cricket players are the direct beneficiaries of the academy, where they get opportunity to hone their skills. But as a cricket fan, yours truly would not want to rejoice any less with the development. For a cricket fan, there is no better news than to know that there is now an opportunity for sustained growth in cricket, given the recent success of our national team. It’s a joy to see fitter, agile players taking to the field, running harder, diving and playing with élan. And NCA could help in that.

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In Search of a Fast Bowler

Cricket is a game of multiple facets. Despite being a team game, it is also played at a personal level. It gives you an opportunity to witness one-on-one duels, where we – as viewers – try to live our fantasy as bat meets the ball. It’s about batsmen vs bowlers.

There is no sight more entertaining in cricket than a fast bowler in action. Hustling in, panting, trying to hit the deck hard, and trying to land the ball on seam, in seemingly ‘perfect’ place to beat the batsman; or trying to take an edge off the bat; or trying to rattle the stumps; or hit a batsman in a place where he can’t negotiate the ball.

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Transforming Team Nepal

Team Nepal has climbed to the ICC World Cricket League Division 3, after roaring performance at the Division 4 in Malaysia. Much has been said about the players who were a part of it and Nepal government has duly recognized their contribution, announcing an award of Rs. 300,000 for each member of the squad.

With the win, the team, which looked in tatters around a year ago – with string of bad performances in Asian Games in November, 2010, and ACC T20 at home grounds in December 2011 – has turned a corner. It climbed in the world rankings to 27th position, from 29th. So how was it possible for the same team – well, almost – to make such a turnaround?

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Ghosts of the Past

It is strange how the ghosts of past keep coming back to haunt you. More so, in sports, as it deals with statistics – again, of the past…

By all means Malaysia has been a happy hunting ground for Nepali cricket – after the home ground – having won two titles at age group level cricket. The first of them came at the ACC U-15 Two Day, when Nepal won the title under Prithu Baskota’s captaincy, in 2006.

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