For the last 17 years, Nepali cricket has watched and applauded the success of world cricketing giants after stepping itself as an Associate nation in 1996. Glued infront of their TV sets, Nepal cheered their neighbouring countries India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and their stars’ every posture in replays.
Yes, we only watched them.
When Nepal played their first official match in history with the ACC Trophy in 1996, Pakistan were the reigning world champions and the guard of honour shifted to Arjuna Ranatunga-led Sri Lanka who were crowned the new champions.
India had already won the 1987 World Cup and after Nepal’s first step towards world cricket, it saw Bangladesh gain the Test status in 2001 following their sensational performance in the 1999 World Cup, it witnessed the new Twenty20 format ruling the globe, the invention of lucrative Indian Premier League and India’s 2011 World Cup victory.
Geographically, it takes little time for Nepal to get an access to all the four Asian Test-playing nations but instead of making full use of the proximity, Nepal only witnessed all of those things.
Now, with Nepali cricket gaining further momentum with the team’s leap towards World Cricket League Division-II and with Twenty20 and 50-over World Cup Qualifiers awaiting, the time seems to perfect for the cricket governing body to make up for their old-time indifference.
The recent news of CAN’s tie-up with Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) and Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) is probably the most welcomed-news for Nepali cricket in terms of establishing relations.
Since both the Indian district and state cricket associatons have given assurance that Nepal will be playing competitive cricket with quality Indian teams, the vibrations so far have been satisfactory. But unless the men in blue and red take to the field, fear will always rule because we have been to India several times and beaten most of the teams there.
Nepal are currently in World Cricket League Division-II and getting the teams which can be easily overcame means the tie up doesn’t hold any significance. Nepal need the teams which can crush them and get outplayed in every other department. Level will definitely get better from there.
Amir Akhtar — a former national team cricketer and national cousellor of the cricket governing body who was key in establishing relations with DDCA and MPCA — termed the tie-up with the Indian bodies as ‘historic’ because the relations have now become official.
Lets hope the ‘historic tie-up’ will help Nepal in their bid to create history in world cricket.