Coach Pubudu Dassanayake is overwhelmed by the progress national team in a matter of two years but there is still a fear in him that the poor domestic structure and lack of infrastructure might lead to a downfall of Nepali cricket.
After Dassanayake landed in Nepal in 2011, Nepal took huge stride in the world cricket progressing to Division-II from Division-IV and now are fighting for two World Cups. Under Dassanayake Nepal won their first ever ACC Trophy Elite and made a historic runner-up finish in the ACC Twenty20 Cup apart from winning Division-IV and Division-III.
The coach, however, still cannot relax as the team’s back-to-back successes owe much to the natural talent the cricketers and the exposure they got playing abroad compared to the support from the government or the cricket governing body.
Dassanayake is afraid that despite doing so much of hard work and progressing this far, a poor domestic structure and lack of infrastructure might place Nepal in a precarious position.
“This team has done so much for the country. I am pretty sure the whole Nepal will be thankful to these bunch of players,” Dassanayake told cricketingnepal.com.
“But at the same time talking about future …. when this team is performing with so much commitment, the governement, the people who run cricket and the fans as well have so much of responsibilty to set up the things around so that the level will definitely go high,” added the coach.
“But only these 15 players cannot do everything so there needs to be support. We need to get into good structural way. Nepal have all the attributes in the country to make it an ICC Full Member country. I have been mentioning how Kenya saw a downfall in its cricket and I don’t want Nepal to be another Kenya. I will be really sad whether I am here or not if that happens with Nepal,” said the coach.
“These guys are putting enormous effort but if nothing comes from the management side, the whole country is going to suffer,” Dassanayake said.
Kenya were the semi-finalists of the 2003 World Cup and currently have an one-day status. But a poor domestic structure and corruption have led to the downfall of its cricket and once a burgeoning nation of the sport, Kenya, have lost the reputation it once set in the world cricketing map.
They began the ICC World Cricket League Championship as the fifth team among the Associates but missed out on a chance to earn a direct qualifiation to 2015 50-over World Cup and lie sixth in the final points table.
There was a lot of questioning on Kenya when Nepal defeated them in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers. Hoping everything was going to change if Nepal play the World Cup, Dassanayake still has full faith in Nepal.
“I am not scared to say anywhere I go that Nepal is one of the associate nations that has the ability to be the ICC Full Member nation. But the support needs to be here,” said the coach.