NEPAL: UNCOMMON GROUNDS

The Rangashala Ground at Pokhara with the Machhapuchhre Himalaya in the background

ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake has been on an inspection tour of the major cricket grounds in Nepal. His immediate mission was to assess the condition of the two grounds to be used for the ACC Twenty20 Cup in March. During his visit he also went to the Cricket Association of Nepal’s “dream project” at Mulpani, and the picturesque Rangashala Ground in Pokhara. “There’s no doubt that Nepal is an amazing place to play cricket,” says the former Sri Lankan international.

The Tribhuvan University Ground at Kirtipur and the Engineering College Ground at Pulchowk are again the grounds to be used for the ACC event in March, Nepal’s first international event since the last ACC Twenty20 Cup in December 2011. “Conditions are difficult here, particularly in terms of regular water supply and the problems associated with dews and the prevailing soil in creating ideal conditions and wickets of pace and bounce but the senior groundsmen know their work and I’m confident that the grounds will be in as good a shape as they can be for the ACC Twenty20,” said Rumesh.

The TU Ground in repose

The Mulpani Cricket Ground, ten kilometres to the east of Kathmandu, has been a long-term project of the Cricket Association of Nepal. Held up by a lack of domestic funding, the ground has finally been filled and levelled. Rangashala Ground at Pokhara, six hours away by road from Kathmandu, has recently been completed and is currently hosting an U-19 National Cricket Tournament.

Mulpani

While he was in Nepal, Rumesh was also delighted to see the National Cricket Academy U-12 Program, which started in January. “400-500 children of different schools,” says CAN’s Raman Shiwakoti take part in the coaching program on Saturdays and public holidays.

Current national men’s and women’s team players have been helping the CAN coaches introduce the basics to a fresh batch of cricketers

“Nepal are riding high on the extraordinary efforts of the players and coaches over the past 10 years, but these players won’t be playing forever and what will secure a constant stream of fresh talent is this reaching out to new regions with new facilities. Nepal has plenty of potential, the best way of developing it is to put into place structures that will stand the test of time and allow for the best possible cricket to be played. The Academy is a positive move, the coaching programs and ground development too,” says the ACC Development Officer.

Related:
Nepal Cricket Profile

Filed February 15th, 2013