Former national cricket team skipper Binod Das has taken a new role of an assistant coach as Nepal have begun their preparation for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Division-II. The Division-II is going to be a first official assignment for Das – an ACC Level-III certified coach. Das previously coached the CAN-XI team during the Uttarakhand Gold Cup in India and now he shares his feelings how he has taken his new job in one of the most important tournaments for Nepali cricket.
Q. You have been looking after the National Cricket Academy for a long time and went through many ACC courses. Do you think the opportunity came to you very late?
A - It’s not actually late. There is time for everything. Yes I was only a player before this but it has been already a year since I did my ACC Level-III Coaching Course. Although this is my first assignment, I have been working behind the doors with these guys. I don't think it’s too late. I am not yet retired officially but I am young in the coaching field. I am thankful to get this opportunity.
Q. A player who has not yet officially retired gets a coaching job. How can we look at it?
A -I believe it’s my capabilities and potentials which I have proved time and again whether it is the coaching course associated with ACC or ICC. Or it is about conducting training in the team or the NCA. I have to thank CAN for recognizing that potential and giving me this opportunity. Working alongside Pubudu will help me learn a lot and hopefully this will help Nepali cricket in a long run.
Q. What can be your output for Division-II?
A - I am specifically looking after the fast bowlers but there are more areas. We are helping players in the mental expect. There are players who have language barrier and who are introvert, if I can facilitate in that scenario or manage to give a few percent, even in decimal, in the team's performance then that is going to be a big contribution for Nepali cricket. My major concern is to contribute at least few percentage in the team's performance through my past experience, knowledge or exposure. I think I have done enough to get the rights to direct the boys.
Q. The Division-II is going to determine Nepal's future. What is your take on it?
A - Everyone is looking at this tournament very closely. We know this is the only step to get a step above. This tournament will determine where we are going to stand. We are working for it. If we get the support from every one in every factor then that will be great.
Q. How is the run-up to the tournament?
A - So far so good. The guys are responding pretty well to our focus on physical fitness. We need to work even harder. The teams we get in Division 2 are either on par or slightly better than us. If we need to challenge the teams who are above us, we need to work harder. And we are doing that.
Q. You have been one of the best fast bowlers of the country. What is the status of Nepal's fast bowling?
A - It’s in pretty safe hands. Sompal (Kami) has been a good talent. Amrit (Bhattarai) has been there for a long enough to understand that he should be leading this pack. Ramnaresh (Giri) is a good prospect and we have found a new kid Karan KC. He has all the potentials to be a good fast bowler. I consider fast bowling as a thankless job. Apart from these four, there are more players and when they come into mix, I don't think there will be an issue. If we have a good domestic structure then everything will be pretty good.
Q. You last played in the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite in UAE. What are the changes you have seen in the team?
A - Biggest change is that this team has learnt to win. Actually it was already obvious in the mentality after Pubudu's arrival but now they have grown in confidence. They know that they can beat the big teams. We were a bit skeptic in the past whether we can beat big teams or not but the confidence level has gone sky high. Another change is the training methodology. They know their role and practice according to their role.
Q. There are more teams in Division-II against whom we have not won. Where do we stand among the six teams?
A - If we look at the stats, we've been very competitive. Just about few wickets or runs. We can compete with them. It’s just about the matter of pulling off that last bit. The way how we are preparing and how we have been playing in the last two years, that shouldn't be a worrying factor for us. We might ranked low but that doesn’t mean we are potentially behind them. Hopefully we can turn the table this time around and beat them.