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For Basant, time flies but the hunger still remains

Basant Regmi, once dubbed the ‘Crisis Man’ of Nepali cricket, had rolled back the clock when he gave away just four runs from his two overs taking a wicket against two-time runners-up Bhairahawa Gladiators in an Everest Premier League game.

The September 29 game was his first in Nepal after he had returned from a lengthy tour of the USA where he was roped in for Hollywood Master Blasters in the Minor League Cricket. The Hollywood Master Blasters also includes two other Nepali cricketers in former U-19 World Cup captains in Kanishka Chaugain and Prithu Baskota.

The entire tournament provides a cut throat competition with 27 teams from four divisions involved.

Meanwhile, Basant was on his way back home competing in the country’s top cricket competition — EPL — in the fourth straight edition. The left arm spinner missed the first game for his franchise Biratnagar Warriors who put faith on the veteran although his flight had landed two days prior to his side’s first match.

“I just wanted to make myself busy while I was here,” Basanta told ahead of his departure to the States, for the third time.

“The competition in America is gradually getting tougher because a lot of experienced cricketers are participating in the Minor League. That tournament can build a big base for the future in American cricket and I would be happy, if I can contribute by any means,” he added.

Basanta was the part of the team when Nepal won their first away bilateral ODI Series — against the UAE — in 2019.

One of the longest-serving members of the senior Nepali national team, Basant still had the mojo in him despite not being in the team. He did bowl a tight line and gave batsmen a run for their money. But his team, the 2017 champion, was not all the same.

In the match against Gladiators where he bowled miserly, Warriors were folded for a paltry 89 runs. Gladiators cantered to six-wicket win in no time. But Basant was up to his mark.

Before that tournament, he had also featured in the 2021 Kathmandu Mayor’s Cup, the inaugural premier 50-over tournament of the country. He was up there with both bat and ball. In one match, he bailed out the APF team from trouble topscoring with 49 runs.

Beginning his career as a youth cricketer, Basant has produced many memorable innings with the bat in which he has set sail the team’s ship. And concurrently, he has performed with the ball exceptionally well. He is not in the mood of losing that sharpness even at the age of 35.

From being the frontrunner when Nepal started from the fifth rung among ICC’s Associates to playing the 2014 ICC Twenty20 World Cup and becoming a One Day International nation, Basant has continued to play his part. From him, you cannot detach cricket.

“I think 35 is just a number. When I am on the ground, it still gives me the same vibe when I represented Nepal for the first time in age group cricket. Time does fly but the hunger still remains for me,” he added.

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