HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The national U-19 cricket team members were moved by a humble Australian first secretary Damien Dunn when the acting envoy paid visit to their closed-camp here at the TU Stadium today.
Cricket loving Dunn visited the camp to wish Nepali team a successful ICC U-19 World Cup which will be held in Queensland, Australia in August. As all 15 players lined up for a handshake, they burst out in laughter when Dunn said. “I can wish you boys all the best against England and Ireland but not against Australia,” he said.
“England are our rivals, so I wish you all the best to beat them and do the same against Ireland. But, I don’t think I can hope you beat Australia in the World Cup,” joked the 32-year old from Sydney. Nepal are drawn alongside hosts Australia, England and Ireland in Group ‘A’ in the World Cup. Dunn was well aware of Nepal’s past achievement in the World Cup. “I have heard that your past record in the World Cups have been pretty amazing. I hope you manage to keep that record in Australia as well,” he said.
Skipper Prithu Baskota described Dunn’s visit as a refresher to the entire camp. “I found him quite humble. To have a conversation with a person so down to earth especially after our gym session was quite refreshing,” Prithu said. “He gave us a lot of clues about the weather and ground conditions in Australia and that would be helpful for us,” he added.
Nepal have been one of the giant killers in World Cups where they had pulled upset results against Test playing nations like South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand and now-established Bangladesh. Dunn also assured that Australia would take good care of the Nepali team. “I assure you that you will get good hospitality from Australia and that you will be supported strongly by the Australian crowd,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dunn said the Australian government currently had no plans to contribute to Nepali cricket.“We had sports outreach programme earlier but we have to see in the future whether we can provide any support for cricket in Nepal,” he added.