Everyone was impressed. Impressed is the word because Nepal had put on a splendid show in the ICC World Twenty20 last year in Bangladesh to win million hearts.
On the field and off the field, Nepali cricketers had set an example what players from a tiny Himalayan nation could be. Millions watched their enthusiasm, their pride and an exemplary discipline – when Nepal seized the moment.
Prayers are on as Nepali boys are yet again set on a mission to replicate their past achievement, which this time could be even special. It would be special to bring cheers in the faces, lift country from a gloom, heal the wounds inflicted by the earthquake and to remove the stain the country has been living with.
The cricketers know what it takes to be the people from a country that has been left devastated by a natural disaster. They were on the most-affected areas, in what was their own attempt to rebuild the country. They transformed themselves to donors, campaigners and coolies. It is their country and its time to repay.
Nepal, among those who follow cricket and those who will now follow, will once again cross its fingers. There are always big expectations when Nepali cricket team travels anywhere in this world.
Australia?? Bring it on!!! Every Nepali cricket lover will scream. Practical assumptions are just crap. And having a set of boys who have already drunk the elixir of life by playing the World Twenty20, no Nepali would want to get dejected.
But hold on!!
Things could have changed!!
And it might have gone unnoticed!!
Nepalese were still nursing the wounds left by the April 25 earthquake when the national cricket team began their first step to regain glory by setting up a camp at the picturesque Dharamshala, thanks largely to the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India.
They were hugely facilitated in India but the gears were just about to be pulled. 15 days later, they were back home and set forth for another round of preparation – in England. The gears were switched to No. 1.
A visit to England, which came on June 24 (not more than two weeks from the current day), was a gift and playing against tough sides like Middlesex and Gloucestershire 2nd XI was a bonus. But from there on they were exposed, how things have already turned around within the team.
Nepal have not won a single match in their last five matches against the tough sides. Their performance have been kept under scrutiny after losing to the two 2nd XI sides of the English country and three back-to-back defeats to the Dutch.
Nepal did end the win-drought against a strong opponent beating the Dutch in their fourth Twenty20 International but in absence of their key batsmen Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart, not even the Nepali camp would celebrate that victory.
Nepali batting is haunted by a lame attack that only has few notable scorers – Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla and Sharad Vesawkar who have lived up to expectations. But cricket is a game of uncertainties and what if they don’t click.
From the last World Twenty20 to the current Qualifiers, things have changed and in an unknown territory it’s hard to cope with the change so quickly. Nepali camp knows it and certainly there are plans because the only thing that never dies out from our boys is their determination.
They want to lift the country from the gloom, bring cheers to the faces of their countrymen. It is what the country wants.
Forget the past and let there be light.