Writing history

Cricket has come as a fresh whiff of breeze in the otherwise moribund national scenario. The gloom has been shattered to let in fresh encouraging rays of Rubina Chhetri’s feat as member of the Nepalese cricket squad playing in the ACC Women’s Twenty 20 Cricket Tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She became the first Nepali to achieve a hat trick in international cricket. There is more reason for the people here to feel elated because of the fact that as a woman she has proved that if provided opportunities no stone are left unturned to bring glory to the nation. The history that the woman cricketer has written in the annals of Nepali cricket is a testimony to the fact that there is much potential in our players. Her achievement came when playing with Singopore — five wickets in five balls. It is something that is very rare even when considering the established bowlers of the world. For women who have just entered the cricketing scene recently, to have picked up the game with so much gusto can only be looked upon in amazement. Ms Chhetri’s domestic track record is full of wonderful bowling figures. She has progressed further in the international arena.

In fact, Nepal can be said to a late starter in cricket despite its low profile presence in the country for many decades. It was football that ruled the roost when mention is made of sports domination in the country. However, the recent years have seen a marked spurt of cricketing activities globally and the traditional test playing countries are facing tough competition from new entrants. From the five-day tests to one dayers or limited 50 overs, the game has rapidly grown favourite with the crowd. With transformation of the game that was once considered for the elites it has now become one to be relished on the field or off it for the commoners. A real switch, however, was made with the 20-20 version. Of course, there are some who may not support the shorter variant. But, given the limited time that the fans have, the twenty-twenty cricket has clicked through the related 20/20 World Cup and the IPL tournament. The Nepali foray in the domains of stiff international cricket must be reckoned to showcase the erstwhile dormant sports potential.

Cricket is one sport where Nepal has struck a winning streak, courtesy Rubina Chhetri’s excellent and dominant form at the pitch. It is time for the sports ministry, sports council and the sports official who are rather lethargic in providing adequate funds and incentives to sportspeople to wake up and do the needful. The concerned must tow away sports from the political turf. It is not the political ideology or sycophancy that creates world class sportsperson, it is the right investment, incentive and training, and opportunities for exposure in international meets. But, as usual politics has been a spoilsport for the sheer fact that the rare glory that has come Nepal’s way is all because of the exquisite skill and strenuous effort of the participating sportspersons. The accomplishment at Singapore has provided the edge, and it is for the government to work to give that headway to sports in the country.

Chew on it

One month after the zoo at Jawalakhel disallowed visitors from taking plastic bags into its premises, its looks have changed for the better. According to the officials of the zoo, 90 per cent of the objective of the first phase of the three month clean up drive has been achieved. Previously, plastic and polythene bags used to litter the area, and these were difficult to dispose of and handle as these were not biodegradable. The zoo should be commended for coming up with the innovative idea of banning such bags. Furthermore, mostly deer of the zoo had the habit of chewing such bags as a consequence of which many suffocated to death.

These days the visitors to the zoo are allowed to take stuffs inside packed in paper, cloth and bamboo bags. Plastics constituted a large segment of garbage generated in the zoo. Taking a cue from the zoo, the authorities should come up with a programme discouraging the use of plastic bags while shopping. As can be seen, plastic bags are strewn all over the streets of the capital polluting the environment and making it difficult to manage the wastes. Meanwhile, visitors to the zoo should cooperate with the by not trying to sneak in plastic bags and to help keep the zoo clean and healthy.