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What about the bench.

When coach Pubudu Dassanayake was esteemed with the establishment of his brainchild National Cricket Academy (NCA) at the TU Stadium last year, his first words that came with faint smile were: “The future is bright”. 


And then there was a question he floated in the air: “Nepal have been able to win international tournaments because they are blessed with a set of talented players. But how long can we stick to them?”


A bitter truth it was and a bit of premonition too.


Dassanayake’s foreboding during the NCA opening came to life 16 months later in Dehradun when a second string Nepali side was squeezed out dry during the 31 All India Uttarakhand Gold Cup.


Nepali side — playing as CAN-XI — crashed out from the group stage and won only match (against Uttarakhad-XI) before losing their next two matches against Dena Bank and the worst was a nine-wicket crushing from ONGC.


Nepal had headed for the Indian city without their skipper Paras Khadka, vice-captain Gyanendra Malla, off spinner Basanta Regmi, opener Subash Khakurel, middle order back bone Sharad Vesawkar, seamer Amrit Bhattarai, Rahul Kumar BK and Sanjam Regmi.


Prithu Baskota — who led CAN-XI — was among the Division-III winning national team member heading for Dehradun that also included veteran spinner Shakti Gauchan, batsmen Pradeep Airee, Binod Bhandari, Anil Mandal and seamer Chandra Saud.


Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) deserves a pat on the back for opting to go with players other than the national team members because it seriously exposed how our bench could look.


58 all out against ONGC in their final league stage match worked as a rubber stamp.


Current U-19 skipper Bhuwan Karki, rising seamers Yagya Man Kumal, Avinash Karn and Ram Naresh Giri along with batsmen Sagar Pun, Naresh Budhayer and Rajesh Pulami are looked as future prospects but eyebrows were raised when these players hardly gave anything in Dehradun. 


A GOOD SIGN — if the cricket governing body takes any heed from the Uttarakhand outome.


Reverting to the day NCA was established, Dassanayake had focused on smooth running of the facility if Nepal are to hope high in the future. And for that he began the initiation himself by running the NCA U-12 programme. 


However, one programme is not enough to assure a bright future. The onus now is on the cricket governing body as it needs to step forward launching various programmes that can give them a huge pool of players to chose from.


Facilitating the future prospects with foreign based trainings in a regular basis is another must do thing. If CAN doesn’t have any reach abroad, Dassanayake is there for Nepal. He will deliver as he has done it for the last two years. 


The domestic tournament must change its shape with the inclusion of two-day or three-day tournaments.


Dassanayake himself has been focusing on the re-structuring of national tournaments but so far, to no avail. NCA has to be taken all across the country which will allow a big set of cricketers jump into the mainstream.


Pace bowling has been a department to doubt in the making of a perfect Nepali side, fast bowling camp all across the nation should be launched.


CAN has so far shown a huge amount of enthusiasm if we see the way how NCA was established because its the cricket governing body that had given a nod for the fadcility. Dassanayake has all the plans that can make Nepal a country with a professional cricketing approach.


The time has now come for the administrators to shift their gears.

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