Hello ICC! Enough praise, Nepal’s cricket deserves more opportunities

KATHMANDU: Nepal managed to attract the attention of the world cricket fraternity while they were playing ICC T20 World Cup for the second time after 10 years.

There was barely anyone who did not applaud Nepal when they gave a strong fight to Proteas team South Africa which ended in 1 run defeat.

Top-notch cricketers from across the globe took social media and gave sympathy and encouragement to the Nepali team.

The Nepali team is being praised by the International Cricket Council as a franchise of Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Nepali fans, however, are all doom and gloom.

But the question arises here; How long will this love and sympathy shown towards Nepal last?

Did everyone wholeheartedly support the Nepali cricket or is it just an intention to increase the followers and to gain views on social media?

Can we expect any help from them in uplifting the Nepali cricket in the future or not?

So far, in this world cup, ICC has hardly posted any content praising other teams on social media other than Nepal enthusiastically.

The engagement in any post related to Nepal must have made ICC happy.

Any posts pertaining to Nepali team and players are shared quickly and in a great volume. The posts would be flooded with likes and comments.

The ICC might have analysed the differences between the views of live matches of Nepal and other teams.

The fathomless passion towards cricket in Nepal has not emerged in a day. This is also not the first time that the international cricket fraternity has been left spellbound by the performance of the Nepali cricket team.

Whether it was Dipendra Singh Airee’s half century in nine balls in Asian games or a brave performance against cricket giant India, everyone lauded it clamorously.

The world cricket was awestruck by seeing the pictures of the of Nepali fans watching cricket by climbing on the trees.

But the praises from all the ICC and famous cricketers from all over the world are just limited to words.

We do not want just compliments; we want support from the international community to move forward.

Can South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker Dale Steyn, who is not tired of praising, cajole the South African board to organise a cricket series with Nepal?

Can renowned Indian cricketer-turned-analyst, Sanjay Manjrekar, took to Twitter to say Nepal is the team to watch in next 10 years! tweet that Nepali players should be given a place in the IPL franchise?

We have a fear that everyone will forget Nepal after the World Cup. Like, they were forgotten after the 2014 World Cup.

It took 10 years for Nepal to play the World Cup again. It is uncertain how many years it will take Nepal to take part in the World Cup again.

It is not sure when Nepal will be able to compete with the strong teams again.

Nepal, who have already made a position to compete with world superpowers, are still compelled to compete with Mongolia and Qatar.

The Netherlands, Hong Kong and the UAE have already played series with test playing nations. But we have not got an opportunity yet.

We have cricket superpowers around us. India is our neighboring country. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are also close to Nepal. But Nepal have not got a chance to play a series with any of the countries.

Nepal does not even have a good cricket ground which is another side of the story. The cricket ground would not be a big deal if ICC and the concerned board want. These countries can invite the Nepali team for the visit. Why is the Nepali team not getting an opportunity even after proving their ability over and over again?

One would be disenchanted if he/she looks for an answer to the question of how much the ICC has put in efforts to uplift Nepali cricket. There are many places from where ICC can upthrust the Nepali cricket. The ICC can increase the fund it has been providing to Nepal. It can arrange series to the test playing nations. It can prepare a roadmap for test accreditation.

A question could possibly come, who untainted the ICC itself is. Many described ICC as the little brother of Indian Cricket Board BCCI. BCCI is the powerful and rich cricket board of the world. But it never showed a helping attitude to the cricket of Nepal. It has already been years since Nepal proposed BCCI to help construct an international level cricket ground.  But BBCI was never positive towards the proposal.

After Nepal started climbing the ladder of success in the cricket sector, India seemed increasingly prepared to take the credit. When the Indian External Minister came to Nepal, he met with the Nepali cricket team players. The Indian Embassy even distributed cricket equipment to the players. Prior to the World Cup, India invited Nepal to play practice matches. But Nepal were forced to play with local clubs disrespectfully. So far, the BCCI is not ready to invite Nepal to play with the Indian national team.

After the match between Nepal and South Africa, most of the franchises of the Indian Cricket League IPL took to social media to praise the Nepali team. But, these franchises have never tried to rope in Nepali players in their teams. None of the players have got a chance to play IPL after Sandeep Lamichhane.

The crux of the problem is within ourselves. Despite Nepali cricket gaining global recognition rapidly, Nepal does not have an international level cricket stadium even though the country has already played the World Cup twice. It is only because of the dedication, hard work and talent of the Nepali players that Nepal are at this stage. The state has no contribution for the same. Every government considers the distribution of cash prizes after winning the competition as a great achievement. The country did not give much attention towards constructing an international level cricket stadium, producing new players, ensuring players’ future and giving exposure to the national team.

However, after the arrival of former national cricket team captain Parsad Khadka in the Cricket Association of Nepal, he has been doing his best to bring changes in the cricket sector.

The Nepali leaders have no right to congratulate the Nepali team. It is a matter of shame that the government has not been able to build an international level cricket ground in Nepal yet.

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