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Nepal's Plate Championship - Success Against All Odds

News coming out Nepal these days is so hopeless and depressing that little thing provides some real morale boost. Amidst the chaos, uncertainty, violence, and Bandhs, it is refreshing to hear or read some good news. One of such news was, Nepal’s victory over New Zealand on under -19 world cup cricket to win Plate Championship. After loosing successively against the UK and Zimbabwe, there were little hopes for Nepal’s young boys but last year’s runner up pulled together amazing comeback and defeated both South Africa and New Zealand, both established cricket power houses, to bring a trophy home.

Congratulations to U-19 team and its coach Roy Dias.

In international sports Nepal rarely has anything to show up. Most of Nepal’s international success has come from individual sports such as Tae-Kwon-Do or Karate but almost nothing from team sports. However, cricket has been a total surprise. Despite being in South Asia, where cricket is almost a religion, Nepal remained isolated for a long time. This isolation perhaps is a real testimony to Nepal’s independence from British Raj.

Cricket came to Nepal’s masses only in the 1990s. Off course it was always played, especially in Terai, where local clubs would play against each other or against Indian local clubs. Even though, I never learned how to play, I used to join some of my friends, if they needed a quorum, in late 1980s in Malangawa, Sarlahi. However, cricket was not really much of the game in Kathmandu or Nepal’s hill until the mid-1990s.

The sprawl of Indian channels via cable and satellite, I believe, propelled the growth of cricket in Nepal. By the late 90s, cricket had become ubiquitous. Even my little brother his hooked into it these days.

In really a short time cricket has made its mark in Nepal. And, frequent achievement by Nepali team has brought home little joys that Nepali sports fan never knew existed. In a time of war, it is good to know – Nepal is not doomed to eternal failure. There are hopes.

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