Is it Cricket?

These are difficult times to be a cricketer here. Mind you, under normal circumstances it would be busy times with a major championship not too far away (ACC T20 Cup gets underway in a fortnight).
Cricketers in Nepal have always considered themselves unlucky. In the beginning days ofcricket here, most could not play, given it was only within a reach of richerfew. Hence most were unlucky. Till late 90s, Nepal had no participation atinternational level, so the players were said to be unlucky. When the cricket administration prospered and coffers did not show zero balance, the cricketers said they were unlucky as they did not receive anything out of it.

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Full stop for Fed Express? Maybe not

And the Fed Express crashed, after going 2 sets up, for the first time in 179 Grand Slam matches he’s played. The Muhammad Ali look-alike – although a much softer and more erratic version – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did the unthinkable, stopping clocks and hearts at 4:24 PM on Centre Court on Wimbledon.
Tim Henman, who carried the British torch (read the lone hope) at the Wimbledon towards the turn of the century, had tipped Roger Federer to win the title this time around. The logic was, Federer has become more carefree with age. And that would help him take more risk and kill the opponents. Alas! Henman’s prediction missed just as his volleys did at the Wimbledon’s 4 semi-finals. 

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The Royal story: A decade and counting…

The story begins in 2001…
The Information:
Yours truly got a call just a couple of hours after midnight from a friend. You never feel good getting a call before dawn, unless you’re in your prime teenage. The phone ring is always eerie (mobile phones were not in the range of entry-level job holders then), if you’ve just hit the best part of the sleep. And it was a male friend. Nothing friendly about the call, no greetings exchanged. A shock: “Did you hear about what happened at the palace?” Now you don’t expect a Royal palace to be a topic of ice breaker, that too, at such a time.
That’s enough to dispel thoughts about your friend being lunatic, because he’s a fellow journalist. Journalism is a serious business. A year into journalism – that too in the country’s best read English daily – makes you feel that you have to be an expert on whatever happens in the known universe (although I was primarily supposed to be know-all in Sports). The news was sketchy and we did not really figure out at the moment that we were talking of a massacre. The sleep, that had started only a few hours ago was nowhere in sight. After all, it was an issue about the Royals. And then you think, you were near the place of incident (Thamel), only a few hours ago. “How did I miss something then?”, a question makes rounds in your head. No answers.

Good Bye, Roy!

If you’ve followed this week’s sports pages and talk shows on TV closely, it would appear as if Nepali cricket is about to change. The scenes are changing and changing fast.

We are about to see the departmental teams (Police Club and Armed Police Force) in cricket. There are now 8 cricketing regions, up from existing 6. Not much needs to be said about the departmental teams and their contribution to Nepali sport. And to everybody’s excitement, APF have announced their intentions for the domestic league by signing the top names in Nepali cricket already.

With the national team captain already in their ranks, APF is sure to draw a lot of attention, should competitive cricket be held on schedule. The arrival of two teams is sure to heat up the market for the cricketers, as some regions – which are more in number now – will also see the cricket fertile lands drying up for themselves. However, this is an age for competition and Darwin’s theory – survival of the fittest – is sure to decide future of a number of cricketers.

However, all that could be termed secondary in light of a huge decision taken by the Cricket Association of Nepal. It has decided not to extend, or rather demand extension, of its long serving coach, Roy Luke Dias.

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