In my thirteenth birthday, Prakash mama gifted me a cricket bat. He said, “The number of the bat is 4. It exactly fits you.” I jumped of unbearable joy. I took care of the bat like my books. Soon after returning home from school and finishing homework, I used to gather my group. I used to bat with high attitude like a profession player. Now, I feel funny about my self declared helicopter shot (like the Indian Batsman Dhoni) was actually not the same shot.
My elder sister used to bowl and I wanted her to be bowler always. I was too possessive about my bat. My younger sister used be sad of being default fielder. And there was vacancy for wicket keeper. Without any doubt, I used to be an umpire in every match. Sometimes, we were glad to welcome the little boys, girls of our age and Dai (s) to our match. My attitude would reach zero level whenever Prakash mama played. He was too fast in bowling and too aggressive with bat.
Our ground was the narrow streets. Ball if touched to the wall would be declared fours and if hit the window glass of Thapa uncle would be a huge six. I used to be proud in my self declared fast bowl like that of Brett Lee. I had written “B for Badal and B for Brett Lee” in my bat. My mother would call me with excitement. “Badal! Come fast , Brett Lee is bowling.”
Then, I didn’t know about Nepali cricket team. I only pasted Daniel Vettori and Brett Lee in my diary. I hadn’t heard about Paras and Binod. I thought cricket is played in football ground as I saw no any stadium around. With time when I grew and stopped playing cricket, I got to know we have a cricket team full of outstanding players. I got to know we have ground for cricket in Kirtipur and Pulchowk. I saw our bowlers could bowl well than Brett Lee. I got to know there are people like me who loves this game. I also got to know that there exists dirty politics that runs up and down in our team. I got to know the radiations of this dirty game over the beautiful game is an obstacle for our team to grow high.
I feel ashamed when the match that needs to be held in our country gets order to run in the foreign country. I feel ashamed to find our players who are the identity of our nation breaking down for being part of the team that show no hope of moving ahead. I feel like the same thirteen years old girl who thought cricket doesn’t exist in our country. If something exists, it’s an avarice of so-called cricket promoters who gulps the dreams of our national players and establishes the way of earning money for their benefit in every wrong way contaminating the nation as a whole. I feel the pain of the one playing cricket, the thing that they love the most.
But my voice is not low like the girl in her early teens. I am strong enough to support my team. I am rigid enough to raise my voice against every person who tries to pull back my team. I am not the only one, we are thousands and thousands in number. And we are united.
My bat says,
~Let’s save our cricket.
~Nepal plays beautiful cricket.
~We want our team to be free of politics.
From a cricket lover,
March 19, 2016