The Under-19 Cricket World Cup wasn’t a delightful experience for the Nepali players and the Nepali sports adherents. The daunting performance of the Under-19 team in Australia has disappointed millions of Nepali fans in and out of the country. Though we didn’t anticipate Nepal to go through the semi-finals of the World Cup, we were at least expecting the team to make it to the super league.
Personally analyzing the Nepali Cricket field, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s worthless to blame any of the players of the team. How can we expect a team like ours to perform on a fast turning and bouncy pitch of Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth? The tall and lanky players of Australia, England, South Africa and other countries are too good to make our team look like underdogs.
The main reason behind Nepal losing to some of the best teams in the world is due to lack of proper development of infrastructure for cricket. We have a stadium but one has to ponder if it’s really a stadium. Neither the pitch nor the outfield meets the standards. The slow turning pitch of Nepal mostly favoring the spinners isn’t enough to perform at international levels.
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Nepal’s South Asian neighbors, are playing better because the development of infrastructure and facilities provided to their cricketers are far better than Nepal’s. Though India won the Under-19 World Cup this year on the green pitches of Australia, we shouldn’t forget how the 2011 World Cup winning team, India, bore a huge humiliation of 4-0 clean test sweep against the sides like Australia and England in their homeland.
Why and how is it? Cricket veterans believe that the tracks in South Asian countries, like that of ours, mostly favor batsman and spinners. So on the green pitches of Australia, our Nepali team stood no chance.
Cricket’s not only the case in Nepal; other sports are also suffering the same fate. We aren’t winning any tournaments in any of the games, mostly. For instance, the recently held Nehru Cup was also not a delightful experience for Nepali football fans. Similarly, during the London Olympics 2012, it was proven that the level of sports in our country stands low.
To improve the situation of sports in Nepal, the respective associations of cricket, football and other sports should pay much higher priority to develop its infrastructures and provide better training facilities to the players.
In order to beat the best teams in the world, fitness and excessive training plays a vital role. But our players are deprived of both. When Indian Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni visited Nepal a couple of months ago and also visited our cricket team, he emphasized on grooming Nepali players and developing Nepal’s cricket to meet international requirements.
Always satisfied with the narrow improvement of performance won’t fetch respect for the country and its players. To see Nepal performing well in the international arena, the higher-level officers need to take some serious initiatives.
The writer is a +2 graduate from Himalayan White House International College in Lalitpur.