Sun, 26 May, 2024

Cricket: Lacking Enthusiasm?

By Abhusan Gautam

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2014 has been a year to cherish for Nepalese Cricket fans. Our national team performed miraculously achieving unexpected success. We participated in our first ICC T20 World Cup held in Bangladesh and defeated arch rivals, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in the group stage. We lost the decisive match against the host nation and couldn’t qualify further, but the performance was convincing enough for ICC to recognize us as a T20 cricket nation.  Although we did tumble in the qualifiers for 2015 World Cup, Nepalese National Team put up rounds of spectacular performances in the Division 3 Tournament and got promoted to the Division 2. Next year i.e. 2015 brought more drama to the scene as Nepal became eligible to participate in the ICC World Cricket League Championship. Future looks bright for Nepalese Cricket as our players prepare for tough, challenging but rewarding days ahead.

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Nepal. With fan base equaling that of footballs’, cricket is loved by players of all ages. When I was a kid back in my hometown Biratnagar, everyone would be playing cricket all the time. Plain grounds with acres of free space promoted the growth of cricket. Many youngsters dreamt of playing with their role models usually Sachin Tendulkar and other Indian players. I, too, was a cricket fanatic and I had thought everyone in the capital city, Kathmandu too, would be the same. However, I was wrong.

When The DWIT Sports Club organized an Indoor Cricket event, free of charge, only 8 people including the organizers were interested to play. On the other hand, at least 20 students would apply every time there was a futsal event. Some students wouldn’t apply to the futsal event knowing there would be more people and less chance of actual play. This fact proves that despite Nepal’s success at Cricket, people are still reluctant to play it or are more biased towards football/futsal. To know the reason behind it, we conducted a survey by focusing on the bias against cricket.  The responses were recorded and here is what we received. “Every sportsperson is a fan of a particular sports club, like Barcelona or Chelsea. They watch the game and want to imitate their stars due to which football is more popular. Also, availability of futsal ground  is more than cricket arena’s which could be a reason why people don’t like playing cricket in our college” -Ankit Pradhan.

Because football is entertaining and cricket is too boring.”– Umesh Dhungana

Cricket pitch needs larger area/space than football which can be accommodated in a small room like Futsal. This might be a reason why football is more popular. I’m neutral though, I am into neither.” - Ravi Adhikari

Cricket is harder than football to play. You need proper hand gestures and timing and all to play it while football can be played for fun without proper skills. If you are completely new to both the games, I think football will be easier since all you have to do is kick the ball around.” -Abhushan Gautam

Cricket is indeed a gentleman's game and you have to be good to have fun while playing it. Encouraging the students to play Cricket by coaching them would be ideal to raise the number of players and fans alike. Nepal is doing well in the international stage and the stage is set for young generation to shine and make their country proud. Who knows, if given proper training and encouragement, the next Paras Khadka could be studying at our college right now?