Wonderful cricket pitch lies ahead

Is there any reason why, over time, Nepal couldn’t break into the

top ten rankings of World Cricket? The people of Nepal love cricket! I’ve

seen with my own eyes in January and February of this year during the

Asian Elite Cup for Under-17 boys the kind of enthusiasm and support the cricket team received match after match here in Kathmandu.

And the final on 12th February, 2009 between Nepal and Malaysia was a spectacle to behold! Thousands of spectators filled the entire hillside of the Tribhuvan University Cricket grounds in Kirtipur cheering enthusiastically from the very first ball until Nepal completed the victory.

There have been two international tournaments since, the Asian Elite Cup for Under 19-boys in Kuwait in late April and early May, and the National Women’s team competing in Malaysia against eleven Asian teams in late June and early July. In both tournaments, Nepal finished a very respectable third against the best of Asian cricket teams. Although Nepal did not win, they did give a more than credible accounting of themselves.

Thus, Nepal can justifiably feel very proud of the exploits and excellent play. This, however, does not

mean Nepal should rest on its laurels. This year’s cricket events should

be, must be a stepping stone to the

future. In practical terms, this means funding must be made available.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

The cricket grounds need to be maintained and upgraded. New grounds need to be made, sufficient to hold international tournaments. Coaches and staff need to be paid

sufficiently and properly. New

equipment and clothing for team members will be required.

Small (but dedicated) countries can go somewhere. Look at what

Kenya from Africa has done in long distance running over the past twenty years. And Jamaica, a little island country of less than three million people in the Caribbean.

I witnessed on February 12 this year the wild and wonderful enthusiasm and support for the Under-17 cricket boys in Kirtipur! Nepal loves sports. The people of this country are pleading for sporting heroes and they can have them in cricket. Now is the time for critical attention and facilitation to be given for everything having to do with cricket in Nepal.