-  Sunday 28 February 2021


Kanishka Chaugain, captain of the U19 cricket team needs no introduction to Nepal's cricket followers. Part of the team that won the Plate Championship in the recently concluded U19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, Chaugain is developing into one of Nepal's most accomplished sportsmen. In an interview with Gaurav Tiwari he talks about what Nepal has accomplished, what the future holds, the meaning of success and, most importantly, what makes a good team click. Extracts:


Q. How does it feel it to be a cricket star?


Kanishka Chaugain: We are not yet stars but we are certainly reaping the fruits of our hard work.


Q. What is it like to be the captain of a rising team?


Chaugain: No matter what, it is always a matter of pride to be the captain of a winning team. More importantly, we have been able to perform well as a team. We have great coordination between the players which makes it possible for us to play good cricket, and this makes it special.


Q. What is your key to success as a cricketer and as a captain?


Chaugain: There is no substitute to hard work. If you work hard you will reap the rewards, if not this time, then certainly the next time. My parents’ support counts a lot in my success and (he admits) I have been lucky at times too.  I try to have everything well organized.


Q. How does Nepali Cricket today compare to its past?


Chaugain: It has developed a lot. Especially in the last five years, Nepali Cricket has received a holistic change.


Q. Is there money in Nepali Cricket? Is it easy for a player to make a living from it?


Chaugain: Looking back at 2001, things were really difficult but now it has improved.

Yes, the scene is changing - changing for the good, but it cannot be denied that it is still difficult for the players. I am sure this is going to develop gradually.

Q. The U-19 team has been victorious on many occasions, how has the reception been from the sponsors?


Chaugain: It’s been phenomenal (chuckles). They have responded fantastically, specially this time around. We have got very special gifts too. It’s very encouraging for us to be rewarded. The recognition and love shown makes us proud.


Q. What needs to be changed or upgraded to improve the status of cricket in Nepal?


Chaugain: The status is improving; there is no doubt about that. But the rate at which it is being done has to be stepped up. It has taken us five years to accomplish a great feat like winning the U-19 Plate championship. We have to make sure that we keep on winning tournaments regularly. If we maintain a good record in the game, there will be more interest from all sides, thus an improvement in the overall status of the game.


Q. It is often said that the Nepali cricket team is not able to transform the success and the talent of its juniors to the senior level. Do you agree?


Chaugain: When we look at the score sheets and the results, we can’t deny this fact. The impact of a poor match performance has lingered on the team too much. I believe that when the players of the current U-19 team will join the senior team, they will turn things around.


Q. Experts have said that the poor performance of the senior team is because of the lack of good financial backup for the players.


Chaugain: Yes, more financial security would definitely help our players concentrate on the game but that does not mean a lump sum of money will ensure better performances.


Q. How difficult is it for a new comer to make it into the national team and lead a good cricketing career?


Chaugain: It is difficult. There is more competition and thus, more expectations from them. If somebody is to replace me, scoring a fifty is not enough (laughs)…perhaps a hundred will give him a better chance.


Q. What do you have to say to those who aspire to play cricket in Nepal?


Chaugain: There is great scope in the game and it is only increasing. Cricket promises fame and even riches for a good athlete. In the next five to ten years, I am sure it will be economically sustainable for the players to take it up as a career. Do play cricket and be there to support us.


Q. What do you think of people like Upendra Bhattarai of the Baluwatar Cricket Academy who volunteer to promote cricket in Nepal?


Chaugain: He has been incredible in his efforts to help the game and especially in training young cricketers. It is good to have people like Bhattarai uncle behind us, but there are many more also readily supporting our game.


Q. What is your goal in life?


Chaugain: Not yet decided.


Q. What is the Nepali U-19 skipper in real life?


Chaugain: He is a joker, always ready to crack a few jokes.


Q. How do you deal with your increasing fans, especially girls?


Chaugain: I don’t deal them. I avoid them, all of them.


Q. Can you comment on your love life?


Chaugain: I don’t have anything like that, not yet.


Q. Who is your role model?


Chaugain: Sachin Tendulkar and my father.


Q. What do you think of the country’s current situation?


Chaugain: It is poor. I am not interested in politics but I can still see its precarious condition. However, I feel that Nepal will gradually come out of this quagmire. As a cricketer, I obviously feel that this is particularly important for the game of cricket as well.


really kool interview.n love Nepali cricket team forever........!!!!best of luck guys.n keep it up.
P E A C E!!!
I am off and leg spiner and I want to play for Nepal cricket team.Plz give me any information on my email-id.
Atul Goswami

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