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I never feel like a foreigner while playing in Nepal: Sunny Patel

Mar 14, 2019 | CN Staff |
Sunny Patel is a successful foreign cricketer in Nepal’s Twenty20 franchise leagues. Having played all ICC-sanctioned domestic leagues of Nepal, Sunny has amassed 635 runs from 33 matches in Nepalese soil apart from picking up 47 wickets. 

With a knack of picking up wickets with the new ball, Sunny has also been successful match finisher with the bat. He was pivotal in CYC Attariya's title winning campaign of the recently concluded Dhangadhi Premier League where he picked up nine wickets from seven matches and scored 202 runs. In an attempt to bring him closer to our readers, Roshan Dhital talks with Sunny about his experience and perceptions of playing in Nepal. Excerpts:

How has your overall cricketing experience been in Nepal so far ?
Its always been pleasure playing in Nepal. I played all the leagues in Nepal and have been saying that I didn’t expect cricket at such good level in small Associate nation when I first came to Nepal to play the EPL (Everest Premier League) in 2017. Once went to Nepal and began playing cricket there, I was amazed with the amount of talent Nepal have. Its tremendous. So, its always a good feeling playing in Nepal. All the players are very friendly and dedicated to their work.

Having played all T20 franchise leagues of Nepal, what do you think is the most strongest aspect of Nepali cricket?
The strongest aspect of Nepali cricket is their hard-work and talent they possess and a strong backing from the passionate supporters. The only thing which they don’t get is a good amount of exposure because they don’t play many matches as compared to the other nations. Somebody needs to take the initiative to have more matches and leagues that would only involve Nepali players all round the year. This will surely take Nepali cricket to a new level. 

What is your take on Nepalese cricket fans and their craze for the game?
I have played with almost all Nepalese players and the amount of support they receive as an Associate nation is tremendous. I never expected fans turning up in huge numbers, supporting all the players. Supporting local players makes sense, but I’m very satisfied and happy with the love and support that we receive as foreign players as well.  Nepali cricket supporters never make us feel like we are foreigners so whenever I come to play in Nepal, I feel like its my own home. I hope that I keep on playing in this beautiful country and continue to perform like I’m doing.

How do you sum up the recently concluded Dhangadhi Premier League?
Its a good franchise league, good initiative and everyone is coming together for the benefits of Nepalese players. But if you ask me about my favorite league in Nepal, then I will go with Pokhara Premier League because they made a balance wicket which managed to provide good contest between bat and ball.

Do you think there is any role that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could play to develop Nepal as a cricketing nation ?
I don’t know what to say because I don’t know what BCCI thinks. But all Test nations should come up and contribute for the betterment of cricket in Associate nations which will ultimately help cricket to become leading sport in the world.

Who is the toughest Nepali player to play against?
It largely depends upon the condition but one bowler who impressed me so far is Basant Regmi. He can trouble you on any kind of wicket and he is one of the toughest bowlers to face.

If you have to pick any three Nepalese players to play from your side, then who would it be?
Its very tough task to pick three players to play from my side but if you give me five choices then I will go with Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Basant Regmi, Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane. Dipendra Singh Airee is a serious talent who has been performing well in all the leagues and he is a match winner.

Which one do you consider is your favorite innings that you have played in Nepal so far?
My favorite innings in Nepal is against Sandeep Lamichhane’s Biratnagar Titans in Pokhara Premier League’s last league match where we needed an outright victory to qualify. And another one is 47 runs against Mahendranagar United in the final of DPL3.

What is your personal mantra of success?
Its just simple, I keep on believing in myself because cricket is a game where you have good as well as bad days. But the good cricketers are one who come out from bad days through hard work. I always back myself be it my good or bad days. At the end of the day, you have to be satisfied with the efforts you put in.

How do you prepare yourself before any match?
I never play with the names. The game is played between bat and ball so I prepare myself without thinking much about the opposition. I always play according to the merit of the ball.

Who is your cricketing idol?
I idolise MS Dhoni because he always stays cool and composed irrespective of the conditions and tends to deliver his game under any kind of pressure.

What inspires you to become good cricketer?
I love this game more than anything else. Cricket took over me from my early days and my family supported me a lot. My love for this beautiful game inspires me to become good cricketer.

How do you relax outside of cricket?
Beside cricket, I spend time with my friends and family. We have lots of discussion about cricket off the field as well. I engage myself with cricket most of the time and have very less social life.

Do you have any tips for students-athletes?
Hard work always pays off although if you don't get success initially. You should keep on working hard towards the right direction and you will meet your goal someday.

What message would you like to give the Nepalese fans?
I would like to thank them and always appreciate their text if they like to connect with me. I hope you will keep on supporting me the same way and I love you all though I don’t know you individually.

Check Attariya's celebration after winning the title of DPL 3


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