Thursday, April 18

Prabhakar’s five challenges in Nepali cricket

By a Staff Reporter

The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) appointed former Indian allrounder Manoj Prabhakar as the head coach of the Nepal National Cricket team on Monday.

Prabhakar was a famous all-rounder in Indian cricket during the 1990s. The 59-year-old Prabhakar featured in 39 Tests, 130 ODIs, 154 First Class and 214 List A matches from India. Prabhakar played three consecutive World Cups in 1987, 1992, and 1996.

His career came to an end following the worst bowling he did in the Word Cup in 1996 against Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasuriya scored 22 runs in a single over to send him off from the Cricket. He has worked in Rajasthan’s team in the Ranji Trophy as the head coach.

He holds the experience of working as a bowling coach for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy and the Afghanistan National team. He was appointed on the recommendation of the senior officials of BCCI as per the CAN. The five challenges of Prabhakar, the new head coach of Nepali cricket, are as follows:

5. Best results from low investment and limited resources


Nepali cricket runs with a small investment and limited resources. With the available resources and penny investment, Prabhakar should display high performance. Mostly, only a single domestic tournament is held throughout the year in Nepal. In Nepali cricket, there is a compulsion to select players for T20i from ODIs and players for T20i from ODIs. CAN has failed to organize any one-day tournament in domestic cricket for two years.

Nepal, Oman, Scotland, Netherlands, Namibia, America, and UAE are the top teams of Associates. In terms of investment and infrastructure, there is a vast difference between Nepal and those countries.

No one questions the investment and infrastructure when the team loses. The captain and coach will be responsible for it. In case of bad results, criticism will be done accordingly. So it will not be easy for Prabhakar.

4. To end player’s irresponsibility


Irresponsibility is the biggest problem of players in Nepali cricket due to which Nepal is losing consecutively. Without solving this issue, Nepal will definitely not be able to achieve good results.

Patience and responsibility are not seen in any of the players. Playing maximum dot balls, not being able to play as per the situation of the match, and not being able to recognize the opponent’s weakness is the major issue of the team currently. Without patience, no batsman can add runs in ODIs.

3. Improvement in batting


Nepal’s biggest weakness is batting. Seeking into history, Nepal’s batting performance is awful at the international level. The maximum number of matches that Nepal lost is due to poor batting. While other associate teams play modern cricket, Nepal has been playing in the style that was popular decades ago.

Nepal cannot expect results without improvements in batting. Prabhakar has to work at the maximum in a minimum time. Improvements in batting depend on CAN and the players along with Prabhakar. With the current infrastructure of Nepal, the possibility of improvement in batting seems very onerous.

2. Ending the groupism and uniting the team


The groupism within Nepal’s team has frustrated everyone. A team cannot achieve victory without unity. Nepal’s team is divided into two groups as of now. One has been accused of not supporting the other. One group doesn’t give their cent percent in the match while other groups perform well.  

Prabhakar’s initial effort should be on ending the groupism in the team which will be a tough task for him. After Sandeep Lamichhane was handed over with the captaincy, the groupism increased to the maximum. Although Pubudu assured that the groupism has came to an end during his farewell, it seemed to be doubtful.

Prabhakar’s nature is hokey and rude. Judging by his nature, he may be successful in concluding groupism.

1. Retain ODI recognition


Prabhakar’s main task is to retain the ODI recognition of the Nepali cricket team. He now has little time to work on it. He needs to change the majority of things to retain the ODI recognition. If the team drops a performance in any of the series then ODI recognition will almost come to an end.

Nepal is competing in ICC World Cup League-2 tri-series ODI. Nepal is currently in the sixth position with 17 points in ICC World Cup League 2 points table with 8 wins and 11 losses in 20 matches played. Under Pubud’s leadership, Nepal lost 7 matches out of 12 in the World Cup League 2. Following the 7 defeats, Nepal’s ODI recognition has exceeded the danger line. Nepal has 16 games in hand. Nepal must win almost all the matches to finish in the top three. Nepal must win 12 or more matches to save its ODI status.

Retaining ODI recognition seems to be tough as Prabhakar has very limited knowledge about the quality of the players. The change is not immediate. It takes some time. But he has limited time. The World Cup League 2 will end in March 2023. If there is no time to solve the problem and move forward, it will not be easy to give sudden results.

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