EDITORIAL: Khadka’s legacy

Although Khadka has stepped down, the people expect him to continue making contributions to the advancement of Nepali cricket

Paras Khadka has stepped down as skipper of the national cricket team in the prime of his sporting career, and in doing so has set an example of altruism and devotion to the betterment of Nepali cricket. His decision to step down comes a day after the International Cricket Council (ICC) readmitted the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) conditionally after three years of suspension. CAN was suspended in 2016 for breach of “ICC regulations that prohibit government interference while also requiring free and fair elections”. But earlier this month, a 17-member Central Working Committee of CAN was elected under the aegis of an ICC-formed independent panel. According to Khadka, his abdication would allow the new CAN team to take things forward with a fresh start and a committed vision. “It is high time that we rise above individualistic approach and work as a team if we want to take Nepali cricket to greater heights,” he had told the press while announcing his resignation on Tuesday.

Paras Khadka is a household name among cricket lovers – a role model that young cricket enthusiasts aspire to become. And this is because Khadka showed great dedication and gave the best of his ability to lead the national team from one success to another during the ten years of his captainship, which he took over from Binod Das in 2009. Nepal does not have a very long cricket history, having started its international journey only in 1996. But under Khadka, the national team won the titles of the World Cricket League Divisions-V, IV and III tournaments and shared the ACC Trophy Elite title with the UAE. The team’s other successes include the One Day International status for Nepal and T20 World Cup appearance, among others. He is the only Nepali cricketer to score ODI and T20I centuries.

Khadka’s exit in his period of glory to make things easy for the new CAN team should serve as a lesson especially for our political leaders, who continue to occupy posts until their death as if it is their birthright. They would earn a lot of respect and accolades if they learnt to quit at the right time, paving the way for the young generation, or more competent people, to take over. Although Khadka has stepped down as skipper of the national team, the people expect him to continue making contributions to the advancement of Nepali cricket. Indeed at the press conference, he said he would remain in the sport in some way or the other. With his experience and exposure, it is only right that he should groom the next generation of cricketers. This is the only way to build an institutional culture. Cricket as a sport holds tremendous potential for Nepal, and with a dedicated CAN, there is no reason why the country cannot position itself among the leading cricket playing nations over the next few decades. But this will require extreme devotion to the sport from all the stakeholders, in particular, CAN. Having learnt a lesson, hopefully, there will be no more bickering in the body among the CWC members on party or other lines, and will work wholeheartedly only for the advancement of Nepali cricket.

Manage stray cattle

As Nepal is predominantly Hindu society, we worship cows as Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. However, we have a tendency of abandoning cows, oxen and their calves once they become useless or old. This is inhuman treatment meted out to them. Responding to a writ petition, the Supreme Court, in its full text, has directed the government to end the ill-treatment and cruelty of stray cattle and protect them from hunger and diseases, and provide them with a safe shelter. It is the farmers who dump their cattle in the streets or in the jungles after they become economically useless. The Criminal Code Act prohibits anyone from abandoning domestic animals after they become old.

The apex court has told the government to maintain computerised data of cattle kept or raised by the farmers, tag stray cattle and encourage farmers to ensure their animals; establish protection or care centres in each municipality and develop grazing land for the stray cattle. One of the ways to protect the stray cattle and take benefits from their old age is to keep them in kanji houses with a provision of animal feed and fodder and generate biogas using their dung. Some of the municipalities have already started this scheme to manage the stray cattle.