Krishma: A new generation emerging in Nepali cricket

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Image source: Bishal :The photographer
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As a cricket fan or player, what you would love to see? Obviously it’s your country lifting the world cup which is the biggest competition in cricket so far. Is it easy to lift that cup? Of course not. But, if we give a look at women’s cricket around the globe, Australia is five times T20 world cup champions and six times Cricket World cup(50 over World cup) champions. They are the rulers of women’s cricket. Also, we will get the same stats if we give a look at countries like England, New zealand, India, etc.

What makes these nations so stronger? If we see the domestic structure of cricket in these nations, school/college level tournaments, state-level multi-day tournaments, national-level T20, and one-day tournament, franchise league are implemented properly. You may have heard the name of shafali Verma, who set the record of youngest player to play in women’s T20 world cup, her age was just 15. Amelia charlotte Kerr, at the age of 17 struck an unbeaten 232 run innings against Ireland to become the highest individual score in ODI across the male or female category. These are just examples of young guns leading from the front.

Well, that was the scene around the globe. If we take a look at the women’s cricket here in Nepal, it’s quite different. We aren’t at the same level as the world rulers. Does that mean we are not allowed to dream big? The sky is the limit, nothing is impossible if we have the will to do it.

Despite having no proper facilities and management, what our girls are displaying in the field of cricket is admirable. Recently, the franchise competition, The Prime Minister Cup, The Mayor’s Cup, and many other tournaments have revived women’s cricket, which has been in drought for years. Along with this, new faces are sure as they get inspired by some not humongous but achievements of women’s team battling their heart out without being noticed significantly.

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Here, I’m presenting you an emerging young talent, Krishma Gurung Shrestha, who made a journey up to the Women’s Champion League(WCL) just at the age of 13. I got a chance to know her journey till now in a telephonic call.    

1.How you started journey on cricket ?

Like everyone else, my cricket journey also started while playing in the streets. Still remember, one day I was playing on the streets with my friends, Pyari Chaudhary( played from APF and Chitwan Rhinos  ) approached me to join the academy with her. I don’t know what potential she saw on me that particular day. Maybe that’s what stars want(in a giggling tone). Belonging to a sports-following family helped my cause as it was easier for me to get permission in my favor.

I have reached here today following the first step of understanding cricket with the permission of home, I’m very grateful to her. If she wasn’t there that day, I wouldn’t be here talking to you on the telephone telling you some of my story ( with a smiling tone). Later on, I had participated in the cricket carnival organized by the Madan Bhandari Sports Academy, got the best player of the tournament award.

This became my turning point in cricket, I remember after that moment I started to take cricket seriously. It is still fresh on my mind and every time I feel low I remember why I started at the beginning.

2.How’s your family contribution on your cricketing journey which we believe has just begun?

   As I mentioned to you earlier that I belong to a passionate sports-loving family. My papa(Father) used to be a footballer player & also played club-level tournaments. No one knows the difficulties faced by the sportsperson on their journey better than him. I’m among those lucky ones who got full support from the family led by my father. Their only wish is to see me wearing the national jersey and representing our nation at the international level. Hope I will make them proud as well as fulfill my dream sooner than later with my performances at every given opportunity.

3.Who is your role model?

Being an allrounder, I have to focus on batting as well as bowling. Right from the start, I used to watched games, practice videos of Jasprit Burmah, moreover, his specialty to throw stock balls, deadly bouncers, and yorkers at will as well as his ability to trap big players with conviction is unbelievable for a budding player like me. Seeing him I always Want to be a death-over specialist for the team that I represent in the future.

Besides bowling, I love to bat as well. King of run-chase Kohli, ever reliable Smriti Mandhana, our legend, and pride Paras Khadka are my role model. Each one of them has a unique stance, footwork, shot selection, ability to pace an inning, and bat under immense pressure shouldering the responsibility of their nation like warriors are the things I want to carry on from them.

4.What’s your best cricketing moment so far?

As a player, my dream was, is, and will always be to play for the nation. Back in 2019, When my name popped out as sold to Biratnagar Titans to play in the Women’s Champions League it brought tears to my eyes and it was a learning curve in which I shared a dressing room with our experienced women cricketers playing for the pride of the nation. The motivation and encouragement which I got from our leader Sarita didi were immense.

Image Source: Krishma Gurung Shrestha

Though I couldn’t get a chance to make it in the playing XI, the moment that I actually shared the dressing room, all the high and lows of the game with those players you look up to from the beginning of your journey was out of my dream. This was the best cricketing moment so far till now and I would love to thank everyone involved in making me a part of that dressing room. Women’s Champions League brought a culture that wasn’t common for young girls like me in Nepal and I feel immensely happy for the initiation taken by organizers and the franchise teams owners as well as stakeholders of Nepali Cricket.

5.How was your experience playing on the major national tournament?

When I look down on the other side and see those players, I had only watched them on tv and looked up to them. And at that time I was bowling/batting against them. It was a bit surreal moment that I barely dreamt of at this early age. Those moments will always motivate me to go ahead. I have always made myself ready and realized the fact from my father that it’s just the beginning of the long journey and I still have a lot of things to acquire as a young cricketer to make myself and my nation proud.

6.What’s your message for the young girls like yourself who at some point of their age wants to be a cricketer?

Cricket is that field where you have to push yourself beyond the limit to be recognized. Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes you may win, sometimes you may lose. Don’t be demotivated on your bad times and don’t put overconfidence in your success. That’s what Papa tells me every time when we sit and discuss the game approach. I have followed in his footsteps and he has always made me believe that hard work yields opportunities and that’s what drives us towards our goal.

Thank you for calling my daughter and letting her speak openly with some simple but meaningful questions. We wish all the best to you and your team for driving the women’s game forward. We felt blessed with those words and motivation from a father who have hold the dream of his daughter firmly to make her believe that Sky is the only limit and with firm determination everything is achievable.

Today’s young generation is the future pillar of cricket. Tremendous talents like her are still searching for light in the dark. In a game with very less recognition given to women and daughters, it’s rare to get such support and backup from the family. If all the parents of budding players of any field think like this and not bound their daughter inside a cage as well as the governing body of cricket initializes domestic tournament in a proper way, our dream to lift the world cup let it be men or women will not just get concise within a dream, it will certainly become a reality soon.

By Bhawana Ghimire

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