Cricketers putting aside obstacles for good performance

- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu
Cricketers putting aside obstacles for good performance

Aug 18, 2014-

As lawnmowers were getting rid of long grasses at one end of Nepal’s only international standard Tribhuvan University grounds, the national cricket teams were preparing for the 17th Asian Games at the other end on Monday taking litle notice of petty obstructions that have been dogging the sport of late.

With Test playing giants in fray, the Asian Games is one of the toughest tournaments Nepal get to play. But even tougher for the cricketers was to overcome the challenges cricket is currently going through in Nepal. While the national team coach Pubudu Dassanayake’s arrival is still at the limbo, the bankrupt status of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) following the alleged involvement in corruption from its members has left cricketers with little room to improve.

Five months ago, Nepal played their only Twenty20 international match against a Test playing team Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 and amidst a sorry state of the TU grounds on Monday they were struggling to hit the stumps during a fielding practice.

More than a month after CAN called the closed camp, the cricketers have been somehow managing fielding drill at the TU grounds which was left abandoned for four months. CAN has been unable to take care of the ground ‘owing to the financial crunch’ after ICC and ACC refrained from releasing funds for almost a year blaming Nepal for their failure to recruit a full-time administrator.

National team skipper Paras Khadka, however, wanted to put aside the negatives and carry on with their job. “The ground was left unattended and it is not in the best of the conditions,” he said. But we are distracted by such things. We have been able to do some batting practice at the indoor nets and hopefully get into shape before the tournament begins,” said Khadka.

The cricketers are undergoing brief batting practice session in the yet-to-be-completed indoor hall at the TU which currently has only one wicket. They are supposed to vacate even that wicket to the women’s team after 2:00PM. “Everyone is working very hard. We are trying to make the best out of the available resources. We are quite focused preparation wise,” said Khadka lamenting over the absence of Dassanayake at a crucial time.

“Jagat (Tamatta) sir has been training us very hard but its Dassanayake whom we need at the moment. He is the one who has been making all the game plans and shaping up the players but I don’t know why he has been not brought till now,” said Khadka.

As CAN failed to retain Dassanayake after June 30 due to its bankrupt state, the government intervened and handed him a one-year extension. But with the cricket governing body claiming unawareness on the  Dassanayake’s contract extension and the Youth and Sports Ministry unwilling to confirm his arrival, the cricketers have been left frustrated.

At a time when the men’s cricketers themselves are struggling, the women’s team skipper Rubina Chhetri has opted to solely focused on the game than the uncertainty of the state of cricket. “We are living in a country where we don’t get what we should be provided with despite our repeated pleas. But we cannot let ourselves down. We are working hard to make sure that we come up with good results,” said the women’s team skipper.“Our status in the ACC has slipped because we have to fight against a team getting the best of the facilities. We still think that we can overcome that. We need to give our best to make sure that we prove ourselves as a force to reckon with.”

Published: 19-08-2014 09:39

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