Nepal news April 11, 2014

Khadka slams Nepal board as players boycott


Nepal's national players have boycotted the national one-day cricket championship that began on April 9. Captain Paras Khadka made the announcement at a press conference, surrounded by his team-mates, at a hotel in Kathmandu. According to Khadka, one of the chief reasons for the boycott was that the team felt the Cricket Association of Nepal has been overlooking their needs.

At the press conference on Thursday, Khadka had raised three issues: the non-payment of promised perks, the change in venue and scheduling of the one-day tournament, and the need for remuneration for Prithu Baskota, who suffered a knee injury during the 2015 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand in January. Talking to ESPNcricinfo, Khadka stressed that above these issues, the questions of accountability and the need for a professional set-up were the reasons that prompted this move from players who were, he said, "fed up".

"In our system, everyone is a volunteer," Khadka told ESPNcricinfo. "But the players have suffered a lot. We want Nepal cricket to go further but that can only happen if the system changes. We need a new system for a better future and better status. We want a professional set-up. The players are fed up right now but we are also ready to answer anyone for our actions. We want CAN to do the same."

According to Khadka, financial accountability of the board was one of the main concerns of the players. The players, he said, hadn't been paid for more than six months, and he expressed concern about CAN paying hefty fines to the ICC for not submitting the required financial documents on time.

"According to the ICC rules, teams that qualify for the World T20 could get a grant of $250,000. Around two-three months prior to the tournament, we were promised by the board that if we qualified, the group of players would get a total of $50,000," he said. "After the World T20 campaign, we were again expecting another grant for the players. The coach [Pubudu Dassanayake] and I had plans to use that money and introduce a form of contract system so that the pool of players who benefited would be more than just the 15 in the team. Unfortunately, around 12-13 days back when we had a meeting with the board, they said they didn't know about any [of that].

"The board has been handling cricket badly. In 2013, the ICC fined CAN $84,000 because the board could not present its financial statements. In a country that is always struggling for funding, isn't it sad that we are fined because we don't get our financial [documents] in order?"

Khadka also said that he had an issue with the relevance and scheduling of the one-day tournament, which was a selection trial ahead of the squad announcement for the Asian Cricket Council's Premier League tournament. "The board is supposed to announce 18 players on April 10 and this tournament starts on April 9. It's not scheduled on the calendar. As current players, we have had no time to prepare for the tournament - we normally have at least a month. We then requested CAN to have the tournament in Kathmandu as there are better facilities but the board remained adamant [about having games in Pokhara]."

One of the big problems with the system, Khadka said, was that most communication from the board "is always verbal". The Baskota instance, he said, was an example of this, and showed that the board was not treating players well. "If one of our players gets injured, they don't help them with money," he said. "They say the money has been passed, but the player then has to struggle and run around to get his funds." When asked if he knew that the board secretary, Ashok Nath Pyakuryal, had told ESPNcricinfo it had decided to help fund Baskota's treatment, Khadka said the process was still difficult for the player. "These things are handled badly," he said. "Often, the coach or I have to call the board and ask them to manage certain things."

The players' boycott puts Nepal's participation in the ACC Premier League tournament under a cloud with a lot riding on how CAN decides to proceed after its board meeting, which is likely to be some time over the weekend. Khadka said it was unfortunate that the issue had come to this, but also said that given the team's spirited showing at the World T20, where they beat Afghanistan, he was hoping their concerns find more attention.

"We have been working hard but we have also been tolerating this for years and years. In the last 7-8 months after we qualified for the World T20, cricket has become a household topic. If we hadn't performed as well as we did, we probably wouldn't have even had a meeting with CAN. We presented them with concrete plans to correct the system and make it more efficient but after two weeks, we still haven't heard from them. We realise there is a tournament around the corner, that is unfortunate, but we are ready to answer to any authority. We want CAN to do the same, to answer to the Sports Ministry, the Sports Council and the Government of Nepal."

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on April 21, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Real shame on CAN..

  • Yohan on April 17, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    I think it is too early for nepal players to be professional . but they have to discuss with board to go towards it .but boycotts protests will tarnish their fame among public . do your best for sometime then financial benefits will come . just not Sri Lankan cricketers were not professionals when they won world cup back in 1996 ( after 15 years of test cricket ) . think wise .

  • ranjana on April 14, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    It is tragic that you are a blessed nation with most respected religion in the world 'Buddhism', but only 12% practiced it today in Nepal. The answers are there for all your problems but unfortunately the management and the players are following a wrong path for all issues. It is really sad for an upcoming team.

  • Ali on April 12, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    You have not paid players for 6 months... They represented the country in the world cup out of their personal funds!

    ICC gave you 300,000 and you promised the players 50,000 ... but gave them nothing....

    The fact that the administrators are "surprised" ,,,

    well that surprised me.

  • david on April 12, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    ICC should provide some financial support to Nepal cricket players. After all they have shown great promise in World T20 level. I think players are right in demanding their fair share of remunerations and treatment for an injured player. Also , in my opinion , a tournament can be arranged for associate members in which Nepal, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Malaysia etc can play and raise money. Anyways, we in Pakistan support Nepal cricket and wish them best of luck

  • ESPN on April 12, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    ICC should be stepping in to help, not just taking away money. Make the money conditional on accepting external auditing accountability. How does penalizing cash poor associates help?

  • Sadip on April 12, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    CAN needs to improve and be more serious on players and improvement of game.. CAN paying hefty fines to the ICC for not submitting the required financial documents on time... really disgusting and not tolerable...!! Nepal is improving in big stage of Cricket and now, its time to move ahead for the betterment of cricket in Nepal....!! CAN have to think on this and ICC also have to pressurize CAN for the improvement of Cricket in the country..!!

  • Android on April 12, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    yes we are with you.......for a change what matters to all #wesupport

  • Michael on April 11, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Ha!Ha! SLC is not the only screwed up Board when it comes to player management! I thought SLC was in a class of it's own when it came to issues such as this! However, the cricketers from Nepal put up an encouraging show at the T20 tournament. They need help and support. The ICC should step in and guide the administrators from Nepal. Players need to be treated with consideration and fairness. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs has never been good policy.

  • Dummy4 on April 11, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Why cant BCCI invest in Nepal and prepare infrastructure? As i believe, with the type of climate Nepal has it will be possible to prepare seaming wickets and give the domestic players valuable experience. Also this will help Nepal cricket in return.

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