Nepali Times Asian Paints
Sports
Bowled over by girls


RAMESWOR BOHARA in NEPALGANJ


Last month, when the Regional Cricket Development Committee of Nepal Cricket Association planned to launch a female cricket tournament, they were laughed at and ridiculed.

Not anymore. In a short time, the committee was been able to find a large number of girls interested in playing the game.

ommittee members went school-to-school and handpicked aspiring players. They were given a crash course on the game and what has surprised everyone is the extent of this hidden talent of female cricketers in our schools.

In March, scores of high school girls with virtually no game experience participated in an inter-school tournament. And, beat this, they played pretty well, too. The number of participants exceeded the expectation of the organisers. "The enthusiasm for the game and their participation has thrilled cricket lovers," says Lekh Bahadur Chettri, chairman of the committee.

Mangal Prasad High School (pictured) beat Suryodaya High School with eight wickets during the finals on 5 March. The team captain Nairi Thapa alone scored 37 runs for two wickets. Suryodaya lost all wickets during the first batting in 18.5 overs and managed to score 74 runs.

Mostly beginners, the girls had to be taught how to hold the bat for the first time only a month ago. But they learned quickly and pretty soon were scoring runs and shattering wickets. The spectators were encouraging and no one booed or teased them. Binu Budamagar of Angels High School was declared the Best Player while Mangal's captain Nairi won the Man of the Match award.

Encouraged and ready-to-go, the girls are now bubbling with enthusiasm. They are even demanding a national level female-only cricket tournament. "We are eager to make this happen," says Binu who is now thinking of turning to cricket for a career. "Until a month ago, I had no clue about cricket. Now I'm obsessed with it," she adds. "I want to participate in the national championship."

Jay Kumar Nath Shah, president of Nepal Cricket Association can hardly believe his eyes. "This is amazing. We should be working towards making this national," says Shah.

And why not let them play the boys and perhaps even beat them at their own game.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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