But not Nepal

The ICC Cricket World Cup kicked off late on Tuesday with the hosts West Indies taking on Pakistan in the first match. Sixteen teams are vying for the coveted trophy that has for the last two times been won by the Aussies, who are again the favourites to hoist the golden ball. But more than anything else, the ninth edition of Cricket World Cup has been made conspicuous by the presence of six ICC associate teams — Bermuda, Canada, Holland, Ireland, Kenya and Scotland. But not Nepal. During the qualifiers, it had put together a string of good performences before losing to Papua New Guniea in 2005.

The country has itself to blame for missing out on big tournaments like the World Cup. Compared to the above-mentioned nations, Nepal has a much bigger talent pool. Probably, there are more kids playing the gentlemen’s game in Nepal than the five of them combined. Where did the script go topsy-turvy, then? Nepal has as good as shot itself on the foot time and again. The ICC had to scupper its plan of establishing the Asian Cricket Academy in Nepal owing to lack of initiative from the Cricket Association of Nepal. Similar myopic policies have resulted in dearth of facilities for the young cricketers to hone their skills. The country is also desperately short of good pitches. The fact that Nepal is doing remarkably well in U-15 and U-19 tournaments is a clear hint that young boys have plenty of talent. With better coaching and improved playing conditions there is no reason why Nepal cannot make it to the 2011 World Cup.