“If you didn’t believe in miracles before, you might start after today” remarkable comment by ICC match referee Dev Govindjee at the post match presentation after super win of Nepali cricket team against Canada.
Now no parents will shout loud saying “there is no future in cricket.” I believe this is another miracle for every children who wants to be next Paras Khadka or next Sandeep Lamichane.
I believe miracles are not far from the cricket ground. But the scene on February 14, 2018 at the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek was different. Nepal was playing world cricket league division 2 against Canada. And it was the must win game to book the ticket to Zimbabwe for world cup 2019 qualifier.
After winning the toss the captain Paras Khadka put Canada into bat first. The bowler bowled decently and the target set to 195. The strength of Nepali cricket has always been the bowling. Though 195 was very much chase able.
Nepal 81 for 5, Not everyone was thinking Nepali cricket could cross one more step to reach the qualifier. And it was proving true when the last recognize batsman Arif Sheikh was stumped out. Score was 144 for 9. Standing at the crease, a 17 year old Sandeep Lamichane, who had suffered right knee injury that resulted not bowling his full quota before. Joining batting partner for him was the no. 10. And runs still to get 51 of 47 balls.
But whatever happened there after was miraculous. It was the history. Nepal won the match by 1 wicket. The hero was Karan K.C. That match earned Nepal team the spot in the world cup 2019 qualifier.
Paras Khadka said after this miraculous match
Its never over until its over
Its really not over until its over. I am also a firm believer of that. Read more about me.
Nepali players had shown lot of characters during the WCL 2. Nepal government also felicitated the team with some cash rewards. Achievement was great and ambitions too high.
Nepali cricket team at the World cup qualifier
Players left the country and landed to Zimbabwe with the high hopes to reach at least into the super six round. Fans back home too were aiming the same.
4th March, 2018: Nepal stood to play its first match in World cup qualifier against the host country Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe wining the toss and scored the piles of runs and set the target of 381. No blame to Nepali batsman as they managed to score 264. Bowlers could have done better. Never mind, bad luck and we would do better in next game. Each and every one including the fans back home had the same in mind.
8th March, 2018: Nepal vs Scotland, And Scotland managed to win by 4 wickets with 51 balls to spare.
10th March, 2018: Nepal and Afghanistan are for each others. Both the team loosing all their previous matches in the tournament. Nepal having lost 2 previous matches and Afghanistan its all 3 matches. Afghanistan won the match by 6 wickets and 68 balls remaining.
12th March, 2018: The final match of the group stage against Hong Kong. The loss here would have sent Nepali cricket team with the performance to forget. It was the do or die situation for Nepal. Hong Kong won the toss and elected to bat first. Set the target of 154. Nepal reached the target with the loss of 5 wickets and 56 balls remaining. Thanks to young gun Rohit Kumar Paudel.
Fight for the ODI status
Now the line ups for the super six round was ready and Nepal had to compete in the playoff against PNG. Though, super six hope was no more. But getting the ODI status could mean a lot.
The day 15th March, 2018, Nepal stands against PNG for the play off match. The loss here would have ended another hope of getting ODI status. But the players had different game plan this time for PNG. Nepal won the toss and won the match too. After winning the toss, Nepal opted to bowl first and restricted opposition to mere 114. Nepal won by 6 wickets with 162 balls remaining.
Rest is the history. After Netherlands beat Hong Kong in another match happened in the same day, Nepal advanced to get the ODI status.
Is the ODI status enough ?
Though, Nepal is a cricket crazy nation, cricketing structures are always below the par. Whole country has a single reputed ground located in the capital city. Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has been suspended by ICC. No decent tournaments held in the country in a regular basis. Regarding such situation this status means a lot. This surely brings more cricket and more funds to develop the cricketing culture. May be the more local tournaments to bring up new and young talents. So this ODI status means a lot and lot.
Eah, This ODI status may not be enough for the Nepali cricket. There are still more and more to achieve in cricket. But this is something that certainly will give more stability to Nepal cricket at least for coming four years. ICC will put Nepal cricket ranking in the list. And this ranking will probably be in the headlines of some nepali cricket news. The whole cricketing fraternity will get to in depth with Nepal cricket and its players. Who knows in coming year we will see more Nepali players playing in the biggest league like IPL, Big Bash etc. IPL team Delhi Daredevils eyeing each and every moments of champ Sandeep Lamichane. And I am sure other teams are also waiting to see how he performs in the IPL. This is good for every Nepali cricket player and those who wanna be the future star as well.
Plenty of reasons for parents to push a child to become Nepali cricket player.
All the achievement so far has been possible because of players own efforts rather than something extra ordinary work by the cricket governing body in Nepal. In the current situation Cricket Association of Nepal has been suspended. Probably the reason is not acting properly managing the cricket activities of the country. Despite the fact Nepal cricket is in the limelight. So There are plenty of reason to push your child to cricket.
- One thing parents look for their child is the future. There is future in cricket.
- Popularity is there in cricket. Cricket is gaining lot of popularity in the country. Not only youth almost every one is waiting for Nepal cricket team upcoming matches.
- Money is another reason, Nepali players are earning decent amount of money now a days. IPL contract to Nepal player is the good sign. If a 17 year old boy can be there, any one can in the future.
- When you push your child to cricket, he/she will take care of the fitness. If your child is a good business man and earning decent money but you can not assure, he will take care of the fitness as well. But in cricket, he must be.
List can go on and on. And parents will find lot more. This ODI status will bring more cricket and more stability to Nepal cricket. We will see more parents pushing their children to this very sports in coming years.