Fans were the stars as the national cricket team returned from their victorious ICC World Cricket League Division-III campaign from Bermuda and joined a victory paraded in Kathmandu today.
A sizeable number of fans roared when the national team returned with their third World Cricket League trophy at the Tribhuvan International Airport as an almost seven-hour victory parade began from airport before ending at Paris Danda in CPN-Maoists head office in Koteshwor.
Nepal had entered the 2014 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier after reaching the final of the Division-III in Bermuda. Nepal then claimed the title defeating Uganda by five wickets on May 5. It was also Nepal’s third consecutive 50-over title in the first three assignments under coach Pubudu Dassanayake.
Traditional Nepali band with the consistent sound of Dhime baja playing in fans’ ears, the crowd went wild after watching the team at the arrival zone. The fans lifted skipper Paras Khadka above their shoulders and it relentlessly cheered the team throughout their victory parade.
Emotional Paras told the fans: “This is not only the victory of a single team. This is the victory of an entire nation. Everyone should be proud of it.” The sound of NEPAL, NEPAL was all could be heard wherever the rally went.
From the airport the rally travelled to Gaushala, Maitidevi, Putalisadak, Shahid Gate before it took a break at the National Sports Council (NSC) premises in Tripureshwor. Youth and Sports Minister of the interim government Ram Kumar Shrestha, NSC Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama and Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) members addressed the team.
At NSC premises packed by fans, Paras said it was now high time for Nepali cricket. “We are qualified to play against the top teams. But whatever we have right now is not enough,” said the skipper.
“We have to be given more and more opportunity to improve ourselves in every aspect of the game and for this CAN should be very much spot on as a cricket administration. If everything goes according to plans, then we can take Nepali cricket to a higher level,” added the skipper.
The team then left for Singha Durbar to meet the Chairman of the interim government Khil Raj Regmi where the team was given assurance of getting Rs 350,000. NSC had proposed the government to honour the cricketers with Rs 350,000 per head. Regmi also assure CAN of helping the cricket governing body in the construction of Mulpani Cricket Academy project.
The victory rally then left for Paris Danda where CPN-Maoists Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal welcomed the champions and honoured them with Rs 25,000 apiece.