One of the highlights of this year’s Asia Up will be Nepal’s participation in the tournament. They defeated UAE in the ACC men’s premiere cup. This success didn’t happen overnight; it took a lot of effort and struggle. The evolution of Nepal cricket is an epic in itself.
Read how this team made their long journey from obscurity to Asia Cup Glory in this dramatic tale about the evolution of Nepal cricket.
It is believed that cricket was present in the country for two centuries. The first ever written record of this can be found in Daniel White’s book ” History of Nepal” in 1877. According to that many sports tutors came to spread different sports but locals didn’t appreciate that.
The evolution of Nepal cricket began when the country’s PM’s son brought the sport to the royal palace. At this point, sport was played among members of the royal family and some other elites. It never moved out of elite circles.
CAN’s contribution to the evolution of Nepal cricket.
In 1930 Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) was established to expand the game to the general public. On the surface, their royals were on board but deep down they had no intentions of it. In 1954 when the dictatorship in the country ended sport started to grow for real and it was a pivotal moment. It was still slow compared to other countries in the region such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
To speed up the process of growth of game, CAN was merged with the National Sports Council. These steps were happening very slowly, and the desired results were not achieved. The reason for this was the country’s poor economic situation, poverty, and joblessness. In the late 1980s, Nepal’s economic situation started improving and so did the sports of the country.
ICC and ACC Membership.
In 1988 they got affiliate membership of ICC. The real game changer was their ACC membership in 1994 which helped in the improvement of infrastructure. They also established its domestic setup in the meantime.
The domestic structure consists of ten teams with seven regional and three departmental teams. Samie year they participated in the ACC tournament and ended up at number four out of six teams.
They got another breakthrough when they got a chance to host the ACC tournament. They didn’t perform well but this helped in showcasing their infrastructure. They started getting international recognition. At this point the evolution of Nepal cricket was rapid. Due to their improving performance, they got a chance to play ICC trophies and other emerging nation tournaments.
Dominance in 21 Century
In 2006, the team bowled out Myanmar on just ten runs and chased it on just two balls. It is considered the most one-sided match in cricket history. In 2008 their bowler Mehbob Alam took all ten wickets against Mozambique and is the only bowler so far to take all ten wickets in white ball format.
They started getting paid for their hard work. In 2008, the national side’s Under Nineteen team ended up at number eight in the Under Nineteen World Cup. They gained T20 and One Day status in 2014 and 2018 respectively. The evolution of Nepal cricket was not a smooth journey there were lots of ups and downs.
Significance of Asia Cup Qualification
Asia Cup qualification marks a new chapter in the evolution of Nepal cricket. They are expected to evolve further if they keep playing like this. This will help them get the spotlight and showcase their performance to the world. It is positive for international cricket as more teams are appearing on the spectrum of cricket.
This team started from the bottom and slowly rose to the notable position of constantly improving their performance and now they are at the position where they will be playing against big giants. Their story is impressive.