'Nepal's domestic structure must improve'
Nepal’s new captain, Paras Khadka, believes his country’s players must be given more opportunities against stronger opposition if Nepalese cricket is to improve.
"We must improve our domestic structure - there is so much talent but this talent drains out due to lack of exposure.... I want to see our players pitted against better teams and better opponents," Khadka said.
National team players are scattered throughout at least 16 regional leagues across Nepal, with the annual inter-district competition being the only time they are tested.
Khadka, only 22, leads his national team today (Sunday) for the first time, in the ACC Twenty20 tournament game against Malaysia in Sharjah.
Khadka says he enjoys captaincy as it helps him perform. "I like to lead from the front - it's about taking responsibility, setting a benchmark for others to follow...captaincy comes with great expectations and if I can muster up enough courage in all of the players to go in the field and showcase their talent I would be honestly obliged."
And it's perhaps fitting that Khadka makes his captaincy debut in cricket's newest version. "Twenty20 is a fast-paced game, everything happens in a second. It's about taking the quick decision, hopefully have a little luck and then hope for things to fall by your side...it’s an exciting format and I do enjoy it."
He agreed Nepal had fallen in vital matches and called on the side's leading players needed to deliver when it matters.
"We as players play very well in league games but the odd semi-final is when we haven't had any luck, plus as a team too we haven't performed with outstanding contributions during big games. We hope to break the jinx this time.”
Nepal's remaining matches in Group B are: Monday (November 23) v Kuwait, Tuesday (November 24) v Oman, Thursday (November 26) v Qatar & Saturday (November 28) v Bahrain. The finals are on Saturday (November 29) and Sunday (November 30).