13 September, Kathmandu
In a recent episode of the popular ‘Sarokar’ program on Kantipur TV HD, key figures from nepali cricket came together to discuss crucial developments and challenges facing Nepali cricket. The episode featured Chatur Bahadur Chand, President of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN); Paras Khadka, former national team captain and CAN Bagmati Province President; and Mr. Rabilal Pantha, Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
**Possible Matches and Expansions**
During the program, Chatur Bahadur Chand revealed exciting prospects for Nepal’s cricketing calendar. He mentioned that Nepal is likely to face Sri Lanka ‘A’ side before the ICC World T20 Asia qualifiers, offering the national team valuable exposure and experience. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed interest in playing against Nepal before the tournament. However, Monty Desai, Nepal’s head coach, is not inclined to schedule a match against the UAE at the moment.
Chand also shared CAN’s plans to host a World Cricket League 2 series match in Bhairahawa. This move signifies Bhairahawa’s potential to become Nepal’s third ODI ground, a significant step in the country’s cricketing development.
One notable revelation was the positive talks between Nepal and cricketing giants Zimbabwe and West Indies. Chand reported that CAN had engaged in constructive discussions with both cricket boards, indicating that they are close to finalizing arrangements for hosting a series in Nepal. This potential series promises to be a significant milestone for Nepali cricket, providing a platform for the national team to compete against established international sides.
Furthermore, CAN’s efforts to foster relationships with prominent cricketing nations extend beyond Zimbabwe and West Indies. Chand also mentioned encouraging discussions with the cricket boards of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
**Investment Needed for Growth**
Paras Khadka, a prominent figure in Nepali cricket, emphasized the importance of government investment to propel the sport’s growth. While acknowledging the immense potential displayed by young Nepali players, Khadka stressed the need for a robust domestic structure and improved infrastructure to nurture and facilitate their achievements in the future.
**Cricket Grounds and Stadia**
Regarding the government’s plan to build a stadium in each of the seven provinces, Khadka expressed an alternative viewpoint. He suggested that, rather than constructing seven stadiums, Nepal would benefit from a few well-equipped stadiums complemented by several cricket grounds boasting high-quality pitches.
**Challenges in Prize Distribution**
Secretary Rabilal Pantha shed light on the challenges faced in distributing pending cash prizes to cricket players. The issue stems from legal complexities and a lack of clarity in the Sports Act of 2078. Specifically, the act addresses awards for achieving gold medals but not necessarily securing first place. Authorities are actively working on amending the act to resolve these ambiguities.
**A Unified Front**
One notable development during the program was the display of solidarity between Chatur Bahadur Chand and Paras Khadka, two figures who previously had differences. They hinted at the possibility of running in an election together, with Chand seeking the presidency again and Khadka considering the role of secretary.
The discussions on ‘Sarokar’ shed light on the pressing matters and potential solutions in Nepali cricket. The program showcased the shared commitment of cricket officials and players to promote the sport and secure a bright future for Nepali cricket.