FEB 11, 2012, KATHMANDU – Although Nepal’s Experience of playing cricket is not more than a decade, Nepal wining various championships in recent days and in this view we can say Nepal is all prepared to battle in any international cricket matches. Youth generation of players from Nepal are emerging from the no where to the winning the major titles in under 19 championships both men’s and women’s games.
After sweeping the title in Thailand (2008), Singapore (2010) and Kuwait on Friday, Nepali women proved once more that they are a force to reckon with in the age group category.
Under a new coach, Nabin Singh, the team comprising mostly of raw players venturing out for their first international tournament had left for Kuwait 10 days ago for the ACC U-19 Women’s Championship.
With only three players, Rubina Chhetry, Indu Varma and Sonu Khadka, having played in any international tournament previously, others too played an instrumental part as Nepal ousted Thailand by six wickets in the final held at the Unity Ground in Kuwait to enter their names in the record books.
Led by skipper Chhetry, the women maintained Nepal’s history of remaining unbeaten so far. Having played 20 matches so far since the inception of the championship in 2008, Nepal is yet to taste defeat.
However, the pressure of defending the title was huge. Nepal’s reputation in the age group tournament added to the pressure.
According to Chhetry, such was the situation that even before the tournament had started, the teams were talking about beating Nepal. “Will any team beat Nepal or halt them from making it three in a row,?” was the talk of the tournament. All the other teams were crooning for Thailand to win the final, Chhetry said.
The coach, Singh, too, was under immense pressure to defend the title. “Defending title with a bunch of raw girls in no easy job, but such is our foundation that the girls went on to defend the title without any hiccups,” he said.
Excellent bowling and some hard work on the field helped Nepal restrict Thailand to 74 runs. Chasing the target, Nepal had a rocky start with both the openers returning to their seats for a duck.
“The conditions were also different from what the girls were used to back home,” Singh said. “But they were quick in acclimatising to the overcast conditions and a batting pitch.”
But a 56-run fourth wicket partnership from Chhetry and Mamata Chaudhary sailed Nepal to victory. Chettry also bagged the player of the tournament award.
With the title, the eves also broke Nepal’s Kuwait jinx. Kuwait had proved an unhappy hunting ground for both the men’s as well as women’s teams since 2007.
By : PRATICHYA DULAL – KOL