The Worry Called Cricket

If you were tovisit Tribhuvan University Grounds these days, you could see Nepali cricketers,led by captain Paras Khadka, in practice drills. They are busy in preparationfor the SAARC Under-25 Twenty20 Cricket, which Maldives will host.
As the boys looksprightly during the net sessions, a rumor that yours truly heard this weekcomes as a flash. The story is: Recently, President of Cricket Association ofNepal, Binay Raj Pandey called Paras Khadka for a meeting. Paras sent a messagesaying he would meet the new President of CAN, as the change of guards islikely.

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The Art of Losing

Nepali youth team didnot do well at the AFU U-16 Championship group D Qualifiers at home, despiteour best wishes and sizeable crowd support. First two matches, the boys wereblanked. Never a good sign if you are pinning your hopes on young talents, whensome of the youths in the national team are showing signs of fading early.
Before the startof the series, Coach Sunil Shrestha told us, ‘There’s not much difference amongthe sides at the age-group level’. That meant we had a good chance, and we grewhopeful. Of the four countries participating, we were the lowest ranked side.Oman, Saudi Arabia and Syria are ranked ahead of us by FIFA, well 30 places ormore. But these were age-group matches. Our boys did not appear too weak, infront of them. And at this level, skill is considered ahead of physique.
But we wereblanked.

Olympic spirit: Did we not lose it?

More than 200 countries – 205 in theory – marked the Olympic day on June 23rd. The day has significance in history as it was the same day in the year 1894, when International Olympic Committee was formally established.
As every National Olympic Committees marked the day, their focus was the slogan – Sports for Everyone. Only we, perhaps, marked it without getting the message. For us, it was not for everyone. That has to be exactly the reason why there were two Olympic Committees organizing their own program in two different places. While one chose birthplace of Buddha, the other one chose the capital (as if Buddha was against unity).
If you find it astonishing, you’re in for more shock. Two of our best known sportspersons, and the only players we have produced so far to get ‘qualified’ for an Olympic event, were not the part of celebrations. Yes, Deepak Bista and Sangina Baidya were not present in either of the programs. And why would they? After all, they would not like to be linked with yet another controversy. And which celebration would they choose to attend? They’re affiliated to National Sports Council and would not like to go against what their bosses say.

Change in Guards at NSC: Will it be change of attitude?

The National Sports Council has a new head. Former Karateka Yuvraj Lama has made a comeback into the field of sports, after a gap of almost two decades, as the most powerful (potentially) person in Nepali sports – The Member Secretary of National Sports Council (NSC). Following his appointment, many a person were found asking, why is he back? Or what can he give back to sports?
Being able to talk to him the day he took office, I, too, was bound to ask him – Why? But Lama, as anybody who takes up such a post should be, appeared prepared. He tells you he’s presented a working plan to the party leadership. Party leadership? The question may amuse many. But that’s the way cookie crumbles here. Member Secretary of NSC, like in many other institutions that ought to be autonomous, is a political appointment.