ICC delegates bat for better admin, cricket infra in Nepal
KATHMANDU, APR 11 – Cricket Australia (CA) Chairman Wally Edwards and InternationalCricket Council Head of Global Development Tim Anderson have urged Nepal to focus on building infrastructure and setting up a healthy administration to run cricket professionally in the country.
In an exclusive interview with the Post on Friday, Edwards, also the head of the ICC Executive Committee, said Nepal needs to set up a strong management to make itself a cricketing nation. “To be successful as a cricketing nation, you need a very strong administration. A quality administration runs the sport very well including the finances of the game,” said Edwards, adding that CA was ready to help Nepal.
“Certainly, Cricket Australia will assist in trying to train your administrators and help you understand how we run the game in our country. Maybe some of those lessons could be put into practice here in Nepal,” said Edwards, who is here to attend the Phil Hughes Tribute Match that will be played at the TU Stadium on Saturday. Edwards said he was amazed by the Nepali enthusiasm in cricket. “The thing that struck me the most is the number of supporters and their enthusiasm when I saw Nepal play in Malaysia a few years back,” recalled Edwards.
Nepal are among the non-Test playing ICC Associate nations who rely heavily on ICCprogrammes to play competitive cricket. Edwards said it was now time for the big cricketing nations to take interest in smaller countries. “This [not helping Associate nations] has been one of the weaknesses in world cricket for a long time,” said the CA boss. “The big nations have just relied on the ICC to do the things. It is now important for them to get involved by assisting smaller nations at different levels. We can play together, train your players and administrators. It’s important that countries themselves take interest in what is happening in world cricket. Now with some of the refocusing we have done at the ICC , this will happen.”
Anderson said not having proper facilities will make Nepal struggle. While Nepal are one of the teams in the World Cricket League Championship (WCLC), a two-year tournament that serves as the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup, they can also host Test-playing nations after earning Twenty20 International (T20I) status in June. But they have not been able to cash in on the opportunity due to poor facilities at home.
“You cannot play T20I in a non-accredited venue. Nepal cannot play T20I at home and that all of a sudden makes a struggle. Being part of the World Cricket League Championship is significant not just in the qualification structure of the World Cup but the amount of international cricket that can be played both here and away. It’s really an important opportunity for Nepal at this time,” said Anderson.
Anderson said the ICC wants to help Nepal and get involved in upgrading the facilities but at the moment, they are not in a situation to host WCLC matches.
“We have deliberately scheduled Nepal’s home game in the second round to give time to upgrade the facilities and also for CAN to provide confidence to the ICC that international cricket of the standard that we require can be played here,” he added.