The victorious Nepali team on Thursday returned from their successful ACC U-16 Premier League campaign holding in their hands the trophy as they landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
“Team spirit”, coach Basanta Shahi Thakuri unfolded the reason behind the team’s successful journey. Nepal ended their five-year wait for an age group trophy defeating Malaysia by 32 runs in the winners-take-all match of the U-16 Premier League on Wednesday.
Taking an ill-prepared and hand-picked team into the Malaysia soil, coaches Thakuri and Raju Basnyat moulded the junior cricketers into a group of what was termed as ‘like professionals’.
“Team spirit was the foundation of the victory. Guys played according to our game plan. The only thing that mattered was experience and that came day-by-day. This is just a beginning and with days to come they will start gaining maturity,” said Thakuri.
Nepal’s victory in Malaysia was not only a sweet revenge over the hosts who had edged Nepal by one wicket at the same venue in 2012 ACC U-16 Elite final but also a feat which saw them sweep all age group tournaments organized by the Asian Cricket Council.
Basnyat was happy with how things turned out according to plan. “We made the best out of limited time and resource. We formed a team that could be suitable for the wickets of Malaysia. We had a dept in batting and went according to our strength, which was spinners. Everyone delivered, “said Basnyat.
Skipper Sumit Maharjan second his coach. “We played with a good team spirit. It was good to see everyone contributing in every aspect. We played under good ground conditions and everyone gave their best, more than one can give.