Afghanistan v Nepal, World T20, Group A, Chittagong March 19, 2014

Nepal win hearts but they search for cash


Nepal have won hearts and minds and a legion of new fans at the World T20. But that alone won't help them in trying to become more competitive on a consistent basis. The need for better infrastructure, in particular more pitches, is one that can only be solved through increased financial support and, despite impressive displays during the qualifying round, the immediate boost to the Cricket Association of Nepal's bank balance will be negligible.

Nepal could still reach the second round but they require Bangladesh to take a swan dive from their perch on top of Group A. While a victory in the Super 10 stage would be worth US$40,000, there is no prize money on offer before then. Qualifying for the World T20 would have improved Nepal's "scorecard" - the means by which their ICC funding is determined - as well as providing them with valuable exposure but it has not presented CAN with a pot of gold.

Like Afghanistan, their final opponents who have been given support by the PCB, Nepal require as much assistance as they can get. Sharad Vesawkar, one of a core of talented home-grown players, said the team were basically "amateurs" and, despite their popularity back home, there are significant challenges in trying to spread the game to more inaccessible parts of the country. But it does make the sense of achievement all the more powerful.

"We're all born and brought up in Nepal and know each other very well, having played together from age-group cricket," Vesawkar said. "Unlike some other teams we don't have any expats playing for us. That ensures that we have very good team spirit. We're Nepali and proud to play for Nepal. We're amateur cricketers with limited facilities, so to be able to come here and give our best is something to be proud of."

Touring other countries and gaining experience of the conditions is also difficult for the Associates nations, although the ICC do arrange tournaments all around the world. Nepal, in their first match against a Test side, were not embarrassed by a pumped-up Bangladesh on Tuesday, although Vesawkar said the team were "not used to these kind of conditions". The extra pace and bounce in Chittagong has required some adjusting to but they will face no respite against Afghanistan, a team who have had the wood over them in recent years.

"We always like to play against Afghanistan," he said. "In 2008 we were neck and neck, but they suddenly rose to the occasion and we were left behind a little bit. We tried to catch up and hopefully we can do well against them. We are good friends off the field. We play hard on the field, but when we meet at the hotel we're in each other's rooms all the time. We're just playing at the higher level together now. We know them, how they play, and it's the same for them."

The Associate nations rubbing along together in the shadows of the game may be good for camaraderie but it ought to be possible to provide more tangible reward.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    I wish and I hope BCCI would help in preparing a start for Nepal cricket at international level. They have their coffers overflowing - I am certain they can help in getting a stadium prepared in Nepal. One or two exhibiltion match with Indian team (even if India A team) won't hurt any one either.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    same as pakistan helping afgans..india shud also help us..

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Feels good to hear appreciation for the hard work our team Nepal has done and showcased an excellent game of cricket despite the lack of resources they played with. It was all possible due to sheer dedication and passion of players. Hats off to them. Also, thank you all for your positive and inspiring comments. And further, I strongly urge the ICC authorities to take a larger initiation to help develop the infrastructure and quality resources in Nepal. Your small help can let the whole world enjoy a good game of cricket from emerging nations like us and also, more the countries and people gets involved, more stronger the community as a whole would be; the community of international cricket.

  • Gyanesh on March 20, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    ICC should change their super 10 selection process... coz the team like Nepal can not showcase their talent though proved a lot n have won hearts and minds of millions..... there is really less hope now but no worries best wishes n gud luck for next wct20 hard work pays off ... just CAN needs to invest more on the technical aspects of the team...

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    icc has to help us to do that we can do miracle:)

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Pakistan always supported Afghanistan. They played allot of cricket in Pakistan specially Peshawar city. Afghanistan should hire batting coach from Pakistan as both countries have very much similarities in culture and ethnicity. Being a Pakistani and strong fan of Afghanistan i want to see Afghanistan as a emerging star of cricket

  • Rashmi on March 20, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    Nepal... You all will get the Financial Support from India soon... India never leaves anyone who are willing to support them... Nepal, Now that U have shown ur potential, India will make sure that your future is bright.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    love you nepalese team.rocking performances.showing great potential.icc and other stronger cricket board should now really start taking nepalese cricket into consideration.they are talented young bunch of cricketers and i wish them best of luck for future. FROM A NEPALI

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    we are very close to India and BCCI but never listened nor liked. So, can this qualifying for turning point of Nepali Cricket Team!Cheer up Indian Fans!We were always with you and now want to go together with you...

  • ESPN on March 20, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Infact,Nepal deserved to win this match.

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