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'Here to present Nepal cricket to the world' - Khadka

Mohammad Isam in Dhaka

March 10, 2014

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Paras Khadka waves to the fans, Kathmandu, December 4, 2013
Paras Khadka: "We have an amazing fan following back home. The number of cricket fans that we have matches any Test-playing country." © AFP
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Features : A tale of hard work, fate and tears
Players/Officials: Paras Khadka | Rahul Vishwakarma
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: Nepal

Nepal captain Paras Khadka strode into the press conference room at a Dhaka hotel impressively. He stressed how Nepal have been working for more than a decade to get to this level, and not just to play in this edition of the World T20. They are among six teams to have made it to the first round of the World T20 from the Qualifier tournament held in the UAE last November.

"I think we are here to present Nepal cricket in front of the whole world," Khadka said. "It is a great opportunity for us. It is not like we have only qualified for this tournament and worked for three months. We have been playing for 10-12 years with hard work and playing continuous cricket. We are here to compete and play to the best of our ability. If we play to our potential, things should be good for us."

Khadka said that Nepal's participation in the tournament will boost cricket in the country, as the government has already taken interest. "I think we have been playing cricket since 1996. We have been part of the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) since then. CAN (Cricket Association of Nepal) is one of the oldest sporting associations back home. We are getting there.

"Football and cricket are the two most popular sports. Everybody follows us. Kids love the game. The game is really growing big time. It is very exciting. We have an amazing fan following back home. The number of cricket fans that we have matches any Test-playing country.

"For most people, Nepal came as a huge surprise to be playing at this level. This will be a breakthrough for the country itself. Once we qualified for the World Cup, the government is very keen to find out how to develop cricket further. I hope we can move forward from here."

Nepal shot to fame in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka where they became Plate champions, and Khadka said the senior team is now following up on the younger batch's impressive showing in that tournament over the years.

"There was always the criticism that we only do well at the U-19 level. But the national team is doing well in the last two years. You need the junior structure as well. What we need is a basic structure back home."

After Khadka, Rahul Vishwakarma said how he, like all his team-mates, had aspired to reach this stage since childhood. He met one of his heroes, Shakib Al Hasan, but didn't get a chance to talk to him. Like Shakib, he is a left-arm spinner and left-hand batsman and doesn't lack the confidence too.

"It feels great to be playing at this level, but we belong to this level," Vishwakarma said. "Hopefully we will do well in this tournament."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

It is time BCCI helps in nurturing these neighbors. We play so many meaningless matches. Can't we organise few matches for them in India so that they learn and become better.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

best of luck nepali team, we all nepali are with your support.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

best of luck nepalese team.....

Posted by roobin on (March 13, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

Nepali cricket is the big crowd-pullers beyond the test world . Everyone love cricket back home here. All Our support & best wishes are with you Boys .Upset some big Teams and hope to see U boys in second round... Best of Luck boys.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

Best of luck nepal. I hope Afghan & nepal become cricket loving countries like other 4 asian teams!! Best wishes from a Bangladeshi, welcome to our country :D

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

Best of luck to all us nepalese. God bless us.

Posted by BadalSunilKumar on (March 12, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Neanderthal n Hasibush... Thank you for the comment ... Our batsmans just need to make some partnerships. We have seen our team is good in chasing but not in making a score.If our opening batsmans get their form then we ll be on. ... Jai Nepali Cricket

Posted by nepalcricketlover on (March 12, 2014, 9:13 GMT)

#T20worldcup! being a lover of this game!this is a proud moment for all of us! we need to show some good skills at least a good performance against teams such as afg and bang in first round!! its about right time and luck and hardwork to click at the same time to achieve some astonishing feat! hopefully Nepal will show some good cricket and players will do well! time to shine :) go nepal go!! ayooo gorkhalli

Posted by Xfuera on (March 12, 2014, 8:34 GMT)

Best of Luck Guys....Ayo Gorkhali !!

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

This is not only the biggest day for our cricket but also for the Nepali sports and for the country a whole. The qualification is the result of hard work of cricketers. This will motivate other sports disciplines. Cricket definitely has moved a step further and let's hope the achievement will manage to change the face of Nepali sports.

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