Nepal Cricket’s journey of attaining adulthood through toughest periods
From a stage when Nepal wasn’t recognized as a cricketing country, to gaining official ODI status from ICC, Nepalese Cricket has experienced many ups and downs, wax and wanes since its involvement in cricket as an ICC- affiliated country in 1988.The incredible journey of Nepalese Cricket started way back in 1988, 30 years before, as an affiliate member. It took 8 years for Nepal to stand as an associate member of ICC. The lack of infrastructures and proper coaching didn’t quite affect the dedication and will-power of Nepal.The role of Roy Dias and Pubudu Dassanayake for the development of Nepalese cricket can’t be kept in the shadow at all. Dias remained with the Nepalese team for about 9 years, whereas the team played under Dassanayake’s reign for four years, which was not the same since October 2015. Runners-up in the 2002 ACC Trophy and Winners in the ACC Premier League in 2006 has to be the biggest achievement for Roy coaching Nepal in his tenure. Nepal was first introduced to first-class cricket by Roy, as well.
Hundreds of fans flocked to Tribhuvan International Airport overnight to welcome Nepal's cricket team home from #CWCQ, where they clinched ODI status.
— ICC (@ICC) March 20, 2018
The major journey towards achieving ODI Status started in 2008, when Nepal participated in World Cricket League Championship Division 5. Even though Nepal couldn’t win the tournament in 2008, no one could stop Nepal from winning the Trophy, under Roy Dias, in 2010. Just two years after that, a major boost was provided to Nepalese cricket as they won the WCLC Division 4 in 2012. The purple patch didn’t end that soon as Nepal went onto become the winners of the WCLC Division 3 twice in 2013 and 2014.
Nevertheless, Nepal narrowly missed out on competing for a bigger spot in World T20I in 2014 held in Bangladesh as only the NRR separated them from the hosts. Nepalese Cricket had talent, potential, and character. The fan-base of Nepalese cricket portraits the craze of cricket in Nepal, doesn’t it?
Cricket Craze in Nepal in the context of Nepalese cricket, coaches changed, players changed, the staffs changed, even the Cricket-Governing Body of Nepal ‘CAN’, got suspended.
After gaining ODI status,
Nepal will get T20 International (T20I) status automatically .
— Nepali Cricket Team (@WorldCupNepal) March 15, 2018
However, one thing remained in common, Paras Khadka. Paras Khadka stood by the team under any circumstances and continuously proved to be Nepal’s best batsman. Since 2010, all the major wins were guided by Captain Khadka. That makes Paras Khadka the most loved cricketer in Nepal. Now that Nepal has finally gained the Official ODI Status after thrashing Papua New Guinea on 15th March, it would be fair enough to give half the credit to the legendary Paras Khadka. Despite going through crests and troughs, the man never gave up. The selfless and polite character of Paras Khadka makes him even more popular in Nepal.
Paras Khadka: The Nepalese Hero
The fairy-tale story of Nepal has certainly taught a lot of lessons to all those who seek inspiration. From ‘Nepal can’t make any progress in cricket due to lack of infrastructures and political reasons’ to ‘Nepal has finally gained the ODI Status’, the journey of Nepalese Cricket is one to remember and the supporters who constantly gave equal love to Nepali cricket at every stage deserve some respect as well. Ask the crazy cricket fans of Nepal, and they’ll tell you how big moment it is for Nepalese cricket, probably the biggest of them all.