Cricket Makes Nepal Proud

January 6, 2014 , by Adarsha Dhakal, Leave your thoughts
Cricket Makes Nepal Proud » My Dreams Mag
After a nail-biting finish in the match against Hong-Kong, when Sharad Veswakar’s four runs secured a victory for Nepal on the very last ball, Nepal qualified for world Twenty20 Cricket championship. But do we know that Nepal’s entire journey in the Twenty20 qualifiers was just as nail-biting, full of roller-coaster like ups and downs? Read on for a blow-by-blow account of how exactly the men in blue and red made history.


Nepali cricket team gave their countrymen a reason to be proud of by reaching the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 –an achievement that marked the greatest day in the country’s sporting history.

After finishing seventh in the previous Twenty20 qualifiers, the national team’s coach Pubudu Dassanayake and the team believed the team had all the qualities to sneak into the World Twenty20. They knew they could round up inside the top six teams, and that this time they would qualify.

Under Dassanayake, Nepali cricket team has been playing the best cricket in its history, winning the ICC World Cricket League Division-IV, Division-III and ACC Trophy Elite. These titles broke Nepal’s jinx of returning trophy-less from foreign soil. For the first time, Nepal also finished second in the ACC Twenty20 Cup. With every success, people’s confidence in the team gradually increased, and high expectations from people were perhaps not surprising. However, the 16-team qualifier for a global stage was still a hard nut to crack.

In a tournament that gave early qualification to two group winners, Nepal was pooled in Group ‘B’. Apart from Asian archrivals Afghanistan, they faced Scotland, The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Bermuda and Denmark in the group.

The Nepali team wanted to top the group and qualify without any fuss. It began with a five-wicket victory over Denmark in the opening match. In an eventful second day, Nepal were smashed 182-9 by Kenya. Prior to this, Nepal’s best chase in Twenty20 had been 159-3 against Bahrain’s 157-8 in ACC Twenty20 match of 2009. They now needed a record to win the match, which they ultimately set. Half centuries from openers Subash Khakurel and Paras Khadka took Nepal to 166-6 in 19 overs. With 17 runs needed from the last six balls, it was up to Sharad now, the batsman at the crease. Sharad clobbered three sixes, collecting 20 runs from the first four balls, handing Nepal a sensational victory.

Nepal Cricket


A roller-coaster ride

Nepal lost their next match against Scotland by eight wickets, but remained in the race with a seven-wicket crushing of Papua New Guinea. Losing to the Netherlands and Afghanistan in their next two matches placed them in a precarious position–winning against Bermuda was a must to qualify. Nepal did defeat Bermuda by 21 runs and edged Scotland out by just one run in the net run rate to qualify as the third team from their group. They were left just one win away from a World Twenty20 spot.

Millions of Nepalese across the globe were glued to their TV on November 27 when Nepal was chasing 144 runs against Hong Kong. Winning the play-off match would guarantee a spot in the World Twenty20, which so far had been an elusive dream for Nepal. The chase was not easy, especially in the final over with Nepal needing 13 runs from the last six balls.

Middle order batsman Sharad Veswakar, who had already pulled off an unlikely victory against World Cup semi-finalists Kenya in a record run chase in the league stage, once again appeased the pounding hearts. Hammering 12 runs alone in the final over from Haseeb Amjad, he scripted a history for Nepal at the jam-packed Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Thousands of Nepalis had thronged there to support the cricketers.

Nepal Cricket


Rise is the word

Following the euphoria of qualifying for the World Twenty20 with the win against Hong Kong, Nepal’s eyes were on the final. Before that they needed to defeat Afghans once again. In a rematch of the group stage, Afghans made short work of Nepal, restricting it to 90-8 before reaching the total in 14.2 overs.

Nepal were up against the United Arab Emirates in the third place play-off, and Sharad was once again the key. His 29-ball 43 handed Nepal a respectable third position. Though Nepal missed out on the final, grabbing the third spot was proof that the team has risen in every way. They were returning third from a tournament in which their previous best was seventh.

The result came from a team that once was crawling to adapt with the shorter version of the game and was considered a minnow just two years ago. The arrival of Dassanayake has instilled a greater amount of confidence and intensity in Nepali players to compete in Twenty20. 

National team skipper Paras Khadka, who has been a popular figure in Nepal on and off the field, terms the achievement as ‘that one moment’. “I think people here have been waiting for that one moment which can bring smiles to their face, happiness, and a reason to believe that we can. And cricket did it,” Paras had said after landing at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Nepal Cricket

Cricket has succeeded in uniting Nepalese have been divided by their political inclinations and personal differences. We have reached a stage from where our dream of bigger heights does not seem impossible” the skipper, popular for his vocal articulation, said.

The achievement no doubt is a big one for the tiny Himalayan nation. No other team sports has managed to find a place in the global stage. The spot in the World Twenty20 especially comes at a time when Nepalis are frustrated by the ongoing political chaos, leaving them with little to cheer for.

After the achievement, Nepalese went gaga about their cricket team in social networking sites, showering the heroes with words of praise. Such was the achievement that it even eclipsed the Constituent Assembly election results: All the national dailies dedicated their front page to the history makers.

I am confirming my tickets to Bangladesh,” was a frequently posted status in facebook and twitter, assuring the men in red and blue that they would be followed by many supporters from home.

Millions will once again be glued to their TV set, and cricket fever will once again grip the entire country. And once again, Nepalese will embrace each other for their team’s success. Sports, it seems, is a much stronger uniting factor than ethnicity, politics, and even religion!    

Nepal Cricket 


Text by: Adarsha Dhakal
Image Source: cricketingnepal.com

  • Banner
  • _MG_8770
  • _MG_8989
  • Nepal Cricket
  • _MG_9490
  • Nepal Cricket
  • Nepal Cricket
  • Nepal Cricket
  • Nepal Cricket

Tags: , , , , ,

Categorised in: Sports

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles