Coach Pubudu Dassanayake and skipper Paras Khadka promised to bring more smiles on the face of Nepali people by a better performance in the ICC World Twenty20.
In the launching of the book entitled ‘Cricket ka Sarathiharu’, Nepal’s who’s who lauded the achievement of the national cricketers and wished them luck for the World Twenty20 beginning on March 16 in Bangladesh.
Actors Rajesh Hamal and Nisha Adhikari along with taekwondo ace Deepak Bista, Mega Bank CEO Anil Shah, motivational speaker Ranjit Acharya, National Cricket Academy skipper Sarthak Sedhai and young cricket fan Nancy Upadhyay said the whole nation would be watching them in Bangladesh.
The national cricket team members and coach Dassanayake launched the book written by sports journalist Jagadishwor Pandey. Actor Hamal praised the team and its achievements. “I could not congratulate you in person when the team made it to the World Cup and the loss was entirely mine,” he said. “You are the pride of the nation and expectations are tremendously high on you. Never give up in pain as it comes with an expiry date. Use your pain and pressure as your strengths and that will certainly change the equation,” he said.
“I believe self confidence and self esteem need to be renewed time and again and it is the right time to renew them. Don’t take things for granted and it is entirely up to you to chose between we can do and we cannot do. My best wishes are always with you,” added Hamal.
Another actor Adhikari said she was shocked when Nepal qualified for the World Twenty20. “Two things crossed my mind at that time, they were shock and history,” she said. “The achievement was a good answer to those who question our identity and I think the month of March should be celebrated as a festival,” added Adhikari, the first women actor to accent Mt Everest. “I am not bothered about the outcome in Bangladesh. Team spirit along with mental and physical wellness is more important and may you get the strength you need for the game,” she concluded.
South Asian record holder taekwondo ace Bista said the players needed to overcome pressure situation to get success. “I am well aware of the pressure you are getting at this point of time. Every eye will be firmly set on you guys,” he said. “There was a lot of negativism about Nepal’s cricket before the Qualifiers but you have proved all wrong and hope your dreams will come true,” he added.
Coach Dassanayake said it was a great time for Nepali cricket. “We have already reached the highest level but this is the beginning of new era in Nepali cricket. We need to move forward from here,” said Dassanayake. “Millions of people will be watching us and I hope we will be able to make them happy with our performance,” said Dassanayake, adding he felt himself as a Nepali national whenever he stood up for the national anthem. Regarding the book, Dassanayake said: “Players will always remember this book and this kind of support will always help the cricketers.”
Skipper Paras credited his coach for the success. “It was a dream and every one talked about playing in the World Cup but no one knew when,” he said. “We knew our destination but did not know the way. He (Dassanayake) showed us the way and we are there,” said Paras. “We had an ego of playing in the world stage and the day has finally arrived,” he added. “If we can bring smile to the face of people, that will be an achievement for us,” said Paras.
Publisher Rajeev Dhar Joshi said the achievement helped in changing the identity of the Nepalis across the globe. “Now we can proudly say that we are from World Cup playing nation,” said Joshi. He also informed the 25 per cent income of the general edition and 75 per cent of special edition would be handed over to the players themselves.
Writer of the book Pandey said the contributions of martyrs and cricketers were similar. “The contribution of cricketers in making the nation proud is by no means less than the martyrs’ in revolution,” he said.