The sun is about to set just like any other evening. But this evening, in particular, is not like every other evening.
This evening, I am holding a cricket bat and I am the last one to bat. A few people have glued their eyes to the game, and we require one run to win — it’s simple as just one run.
No big deal or is it? My team’s captain, whom I met just today, has given me a bunch of pressure on my shoulders. I have to go out there with one ball to face and one run to get. My mind is now racing!
I cannot grab hold of the moment, no time to breathe, and no time to think where I am going to hit the ball. I stand on my stance, and I see the bowler with the ball in his hands. Is this happening? Am I living this time now? He throws the ball a little outside my area; I reach for it and push it away to one of the fielders. He gathers the ball and aims for the stumps, and I run in disbelief that I will get there before the ball hits the stumps.
To my surprise, the ball just races past the stumps without any contact and I reach the crease with just the one run, but that was all it was needed. The next moment I know, I am jumping with the bat on my hand and my legs off the ground.
My teammates come around, hugging me and cheering so loud that our passion for the game echoes everywhere. (This writing is from my personal experience that took place in March of 2018 when I took the most memorable single run of my life while playing gully cricket.)
The writing above is just one of the examples of what cricket can mean to a passionate cricket lover. Once any sane human builds passion for a sport, that person will eat, breathe and sleep that sport. For me, cricket is the same; I think about it most of the time. Watching videos of legendary games or learning about the game and getting insights about it very closely is how I want to spend most of my time.
There are a large number of people that follow and share the love for the game. A cricket fan from England and a fan from Nepal may feel connected because they share the same feeling for the game.
Especially in Nepal, where most fans and followers put their emotions at stake for cricket, if Nepal loses a game, we start mumbling words blaming the players and cricket boards and we’ll stay upset for days. But on the days when we win, there is no such joy and pride for being born a Nepalese.
When our brothers play at TU international cricket ground at Kirtipur, people line up from early morning to catch a glimpse of the Nepalese cricket. I remember waking up at five in the morning on the match day and getting there as early as possible.
It rained for most of the day, and we had to take sheds under the tree, we were completely soaked with the game getting interrupted occasionally.
Nepal batted below our expectations that day, but we never left until the last ball and until the loss was inevitable.
Otherwise, till the last ball bowled, our hope for Nepal victory stays still. This is one of the things I love about cricket. It teaches people to be optimistic and keep the faith until the very end. Who knows in any over or in any ball your life can turn around. The love for our brothers who play the game despite so many hurdles is powerful.
The first time I met Paras Khadka, my hands started shaking when I went to take a selfie with him. The first time Sandeep Lamichhane picked a wicket in IPL, we screamed in ecstasy. When Sandeep went on to meet cricket legends and played alongside them, we felt like these legends were one of us.
When Sandeep shared the pitch with players Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers, MS Dhoni, etc., we felt as if we were down there playing; we were at home watching from TV. This sport can provide us with so much energy, hope, motivation and optimism. It can pick us up but can also thrash us down.
When Australia’s ex-captain and ex vice-captain were involved in the ball-tampering scandal, many Australian cricket fans’ hearts were shattered. But when they accepted their mistake, served their sentence and came back more strongly, our broken heart started beating well again.
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We cannot help but agree that this game alone teaches many life lessons.
No matter how many people put it that, they always want the win. We can agree that at the end of the day, cricket is the winner. It is designed to play and the way players take it as the most imperial part of their life.
We need no further examples of what cricket is about and what it means to cricket lovers. It is in our blood and in every breath that we take. When we wear our jersey, it sets an energizing wave of patriotism and pride for our country. This type of feeling will keep me going; passion for the game and pride for being a ‘Nepalese cricket fan’.
May this feeling will keep us all going and hopefully lead to a near optimistic future.
All the best Nepal!!
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