Beating China is not a big achievement for Nepal: Lama

Published On: October 12, 2018 07:07 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Oct 12: Chhumbi Lama, former chief operating officer of One-Day International (ODI) nation Nepal’s cricket governing body -- Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) -- has termed Nepal’s win over China during the ICC World T20 Asia Region Qualifier ‘B’ match on Wednesday as a mere ‘formality’. He made the remark talking to Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Thursday. 

AFP reported Lama, now the managing director of Pokhara Premier League, stating that the victory over China has always been a formality for the small Himalayan nation. 

“China might be politically and economically stronger than Nepal, but Nepal is stronger than China when it comes to cricket. Beating China is not a big achievement for Nepal,” he told AFP.

The northern giant China is known for investing huge money into sports, especially football and the Olympic disciplines. But cricket has never been a priority sport for the country.

Cricket in China has a short history with its national team making its first international appearance at the 2010 Asian Games. Nepal, meanwhile, gained ODI status in March and has now set its sights on joining the world’s elite by achieving Test status. The former national captain and current U-19 national head coach Binod Das also said the strength in cricket was irrespective of country’s stature.

“The size of country and its power do not matter (in cricket),” Das told AFP in Kathmandu. 

However, the 35-year-old did not want to undermine the financial superiority China enjoyed. “We shouldn’t undermine them because they may takeover in future as they have the capacity to invest in infrastructure and skill development.”

China’s latest foray on the international stage ended in a huge defeat on Wednesday as it scored only 26 all out in a World Twenty20 qualifier, a total which Nepal surpassed in just 11 balls.  Opening batsman Yan Hongjiang top-scored for China with 11 runs in the match. 

The next biggest contribution was the nine extras, and leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane picked up three wickets for four runs. Qun Tiansen, one of eight Chinese players out for a duck, then gave 21 runs in his first and only over as Binod Bhandari smashed 24 in Nepal’s quick-fire reply of 29-0.

It wasn’t even its worst innings of the tournament: China was 26 all out in its loss to Singapore, and it had scores of 35 for nine, 45, and 48 in defeats to Thailand, Bhutan and Myanmar in the same ICC World T20 Asia Region Qualifiers ‘B’.

“China may have the world’s biggest population and the second largest economy, but they are yet to impress in one area: the cricket field, where it has been humbled by Nepal,” the AFP wrote in its match report.

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