Khadka urges govt to prioritise cricket
- Returning with ODI status
Mar 20, 2018-Nepal national team skipper Paras Khadka on Monday urges the government to prioritise cricket and move ahead as the national cricket team returned from their successful ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers earning an One-Day International (ODI)status.
Nepal made an eighth place finish in the ongoing Qualifiers in Zimbabwe where the country made history by earning the coveted ODI status for the next four years. The achievement is expected to turn the fortunes of Nepali cricket but Khadka wants the government to play a lead role in taking the game to higher level.
“There is fear because the ODI status comes with a lot of responsibility. On the field, we have to upgrade our game. Off the field, we have to make a good structure of domestic cricket as fast as we can so that it gets a shape within the six months to one year. In fact, its time for the government to prioritise cricket and move accordingly,” Khadka said after the team’s arrival at the TIA.
Nepal coach Jagat Tamatta said Nepal are now left with a big task. “The big question is how we maintain this ODI status. We had earned Twenty20 International (T20I) status in 2014 but we did nothing then. It all depends on how we run cricket during this four years. First and foremost there has to be a proper governing body. If we manage to get multi-format cricket in three-day or four-day, continuous 50-over tournaments, then we can move in an appropriate way,” said Tamatta.
Nepal had previously earned the T20I status following its impressive performance in the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. However, the tussle within the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) saw a direct impact in the game as Nepal hardly managed to play eight T20I game to get inside the ICC rankings. However, a poor performance in the next World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland saw Nepal lose that status.
The ODI status for Nepal has come at a time when the country’s cricket body has remained suspended for almost two years and has poor infrastructure with only one international standard ground which hardly gets any attention for maintenance. Khadka said its time Nepal join hands and work collectively. “Its was our dream to make Nepal an ODI country. Now, if we all—players, coaches and the other stakeholders— move positively ahead we can lay a good foundation for Nepali cricket and make it stable,” he said.
Khadka said he had an feeling that something good was going to happen before leaving for Zimbabwe. “The last two months had been really tough. Every time we woke up, we had to win the game. The way we moved ahead from Division 2, we took it was a hint of something good was in store. Hats off to everyone. Players have shown a lot of character and the future is very bright for us,” the skipper said referring Nepal’s lucky escape in the World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia last month where the team managed to win three out of five league games in the last ball to finish at the top of the table and make it to the Qualifiers.
Khadka doesn’t want the achievement to be short lived. “Lets hope the environment created from this achievement doesn’t remain for a shorter period. We have to think of stability of players. If we see proper investment and good management, things will fall in its place automatically. Its very important that we come up with a plan. Nepal cricket can establish itself in the international arena in future,” he said.
Published: 20-03-2018 09:00