Kathmandu, October 15
A day after the International Cricket Council reinstated the membership of the Cricket Association of Nepal, Paras Khadka stepped down as skipper of the national team.
Khadka, who made his debut for Nepal in 2004 and took over the captaincy from Binod Das five years later in the ACC Twenty20 match against Malaysia in the United Arab Emirates, decided to quit from the post of skipper “as there has to be a new way of taking things forward with a fresh start and a committed vision with everyone involved”.
Khadka said the decision to quit captaincy was not a hard one for him and that he would remain in the sport in some way or the other. “I have always done what I have wanted in my life and quitting the captaincy was just a part of it. Everyone has to leave one day and I think it’s the right time to step down,” said Khadka, the only Nepali cricketer to score ODI and T20I centuries.
Khadka said his decision would help the new CAN team to make a fresh start with a committed vision for the betterment of Nepali cricket. “A new team has come to power in CAN and I believe everybody needs to start afresh. It’s high time that we rise above individualistic approach and work as a team if we want to take Nepal cricket to greater heights,” said Khadka.
Khadka described his journey as incredible and satisfactory. “I was lucky to play for the country and lead the national team for almost a decade.
I feel myself a lucky captain as I received support from everyone, including the coaches and players,” said Khadka. “I am totally satisfied with the incredible journey I had with the national team,” he added.
With loads of successes and accolades, including the One Day International status for Nepal and T20 World Cup appearance, Khadka is regarded as the most successful skipper in the not-so-long history of Nepali cricket.
Nepal began the international cricket journey in 1996 and won the first trophy in 2003 — the ACC Emerging Nations Cup on home soil.
Under the leadership of Khadka, Nepal national team won the titles of the World Cricket League Division-V, Division-IV and Division-III tournaments and the national team shared the ACC Trophy Elite trophy with the UAE in the space of four years from 2010.
Khadka and his team earned maiden berth in the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh where they defeated Hong Kong and UAE to earn the T20 International status for the first time.
The team then earned the ODI status last year after finishing eighth in the World Cup Qualifiers. Khadka also led the team to ODI and T20I series victories over the UAE.
Nepal cricket got a new lifeline yesterday after the ICC reinstated the CAN membership on conditional basis, almost three-and-a-half years after suspending the cricket body for government interference and controversial elections.
A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.