KATHMANDU, Feb 10: Four months after winning the ACC Trophy Elite in the UAE, Nepali cricketers are yet to receive state honor for the national team´s biggest achievement in international cricket.
However, some non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) in the UAE have expressed willingness to lend their helping hands to build an indoor training facility for the cricketers.
NRN UAE and Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) are planning to construct an indoor facility at Mulpani cricket ground before the onset of monsoon.
“We are planning to bring the facility into operation by the end of this summer (Jestha) so that our players can practice during the rainy season,” CAN President Tanka Angbuhang said during a press conference organized in the capital on Saturday.
According to CAN officials, construction of the indoor facility will begin soon. The estimated cost of constructing the indoor facility is Rs 6.2 million.
Nepali cricket officials Uttam Karmacharya and Keshav Pahari had pointed out the need for an indoor facility to NRN UAE during the ACC Trophy Elite. It was then that NRN UAE decided to work in coordination with CAN to build an indoor facility for national players.
“We developed a close affinity with the Nepali players who have made frequent tours to the UAE. During their visit, Nepali officials requested for financial help to build an indoor facility. We forwarded this proposal to our central working committee and it was approved unanimously,” said Chandra Rokaya, president of NRN UAE.
“Our target is to complete the facility before monsoon. Although the facility will be available for training in a few months, we have requested CAN to inaugurate it only in October coinciding with the NRN general assembly,” he added.
Mulpani cricket ground is still under construction because of fund crunch. In 2002, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had announced to construct a World Cricket Academy in Mulpani but later cancelled the plan. After that, there were plans to construct Asian level cricket academy which also could not materialize.
Then in 2007, CAN took the initiative to develop Mulpani as a cricket ground. Two years ago, the government had allocated Rs 40 million for the project, which sufficed only to complete half the construction works.
“CAN is still not able to stand on its own. So we also request all other NRN associations in 63 countries to lend their helping hands,” said CAN President Angbuhang.
Meanwhile, CAN General Secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel said that CAN is planning to set up at least two pitches inside the indoor facility. The training facility will be 100 feet long and 30 feet wide.