Nepal’s newly appointed coach Pubudu Dassanayake on Thursday cleared the air regarding his stance with the current crisis in Nepali cricket saying he will respect the decision of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) to remove captain and vice-captain.
On December 15, the Nepali cricket’s governing body had decided to sack captain Gyanendra Malla and his deputy Dipendra Singh Airee for breaching discipline. CAN had also decided to not consider the two players along with fast bowlers Sompal Kami and Kamal Singh Airee for first six months of the 2022 central contract.
The decision had come after the four players spoke in the media expressing dissatisfaction over the central contract. CAN had sought clarification from the players and said it was not satisfied with the answers they were given. The players rather had given ultimatum to the cricket governing body demanding answers on their 11-point memo.
Appearing publicly for the first time after his arrival on Tuesday, Dassanayake repeatedly said the change in captaincy was the decision of the board and he cannot challenge it. His statement has now made it clear that Nepal will play under star leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane in the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier in Oman.
“No that will not happen,” said Dassanayake asked if CAN was going to reverse the decision of bringing in a new captain. “I had a very good chat not only with the president but also with the secretary and the treasurer. Its a board decision and as a coach I cannot challenge that and have to respect their views. They are solid on the decision and will not reverse it.”
Ever since the CAN decision, the crisis has continued to deepen after the four players along with few other members from the national team took the stand of not joining the camp for the World Cup Qualifiers.
Dassanayake was expected to become a mediator between two parties and made his stance clear just two days after his arrival. “I was able to sit down with both parties and separately with players as well. The players are sticking with their decision regarding the captain. The captaincy will not change and CAN has all the rights to make that decision. Their decision will continue, he reiterated.
CAN is very flexible to resolve other issues including the central contract. They have asked me to propose what needs to be done to sort out other issues. I have also asked CAN President to get the four players into central contract and the cricket governing body is very positive about that, Dassanayake said adding he cannot have a point of view on behalf of players regarding their stand of not joining the closed-camp.
“I had told the players that they will get the best environment until I am here. I cannot speak on their behalf but I am just hoping that (snubbing the camp) will happen. Its about the national team and the whole country. I don’t think we can hold it for any individual. Its a fair call where we have to move with the best we have. Once the camp will be called, the players will be in the hotel and I will have more opportunity to sit down and discuss things and show them the path,” he added.
Dassanayake had looked after the Nepali team from 2011 to 2015 and was a central figure in leading Nepal to the 2014 ICC Twenty20 World Cup apart from lifting Nepal to ICC World Cricket League Championship from a position when they were languishing at the fourth rung of ICC Associate ladder.
He is once again given the responsibility to guide the team to another Twenty20 World Cup apart from making them a formidable ODI nation among the Associates. Nepal were already supposed to begin their camp for World Cup Qualifiers on December 21 but the crisis forced CAN to push its start.
The coach said there will be a two-phase national team camp as he was also willing to consider players who perform well at the Prime Minister Cup Twenty20 National which CAN is planning with the National Sports Council.