Invest More In Cricket


The passion for cricket is only rivaled by love of football in Nepal. This fact becomes evidently clear when the country plays host to international cricket and football matches. Delirious fans quickly pack the stadiums, and once the game beings, the support home team enjoys from wildly cheering fans from the start hardly wavers until the final whistle is blown. We have also seen fans making journey across continent to root for the national team. As more and more Nepalis have started traveling abroad for work or settlement, sports have become an effective means to rally fellow countrymen in adopted countries. There is, however, one stark difference between the two popular sports: while the latter has at least one up-to-the mark stadium, though not state-of-the-art, the former has none. This is despite the fact that achievements is cricket is no less than football.

The country is getting ready for the biggest event of a decade, as the senior men's cricket team is playing in the 9th T20 World Cup (WC) starting in a week. It is the second time Nepal is participating in the biggest stage of T20 cricket; the last time was in the fifth edition in 2014. Since the nation debuted in the WC in 2014, the craze of cricket has grown markedly with every achievement. That Nepal is playing the highest league of a sporting event and competing with the best in the world is itself something to be proud of.  If we keep progressing this way, we don't have to wait long for the crowning glory in cricket. 

But here is a catch: our cricketers and the sports in general have been grappling with crushing hardships. One of them is under-investment. Successive governments over the years have assured to increase investment in cricket. However, in the past 10 years, the infrastructure, resources and investment have remained almost stagnant. Former and current cricketers stress that cricket can provide livelihood for many, even at the domestic level. But the lack of enough cricket stadiums across the country, they say, has continued to dent that hope. National cricketers being denied enough resources – financial or otherwise – and infrastructure development moving at a snail's pace means keeping away much-needed young talents who can prove to be a game changer at times. 

Thanks to the Mulpani International Cricket Ground, a future cricket academy, which started hosting international matches only in 2023, Nepal now has two international grounds, including TU International Cricket Ground, which has been hosting international matches since the late 1990s. But the two stadiums lack even the bare minimum infrastructure, such as parapets and floodlights. Besides, while the authorities have failed to develop the existing stadiums, empty promises followed by an unsupportive attitude  in budget allocation have left the construction of at least five more stadiums in limbo for years now.

Nepal has a good number of football stadiums fitted with parapets and floodlights. However, lacking care through budget allocation, they are getting deteriorated. The construction of five cricket stadiums in Morang, Chitwan, Dang and Kailali districts started long ago, but none has been completed so far. The government can no longer afford to look away from this problem. Besides leaping into action to expedite the under-construction stadiums, it also need to look after the financial needs of the cricketers. 

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