Friday, 29 March 2013

The new fans and the burden of expectations.

Fans are always a pleasure in sports. The dynamism of sports is driven by fans itself because they instill energy in the sports and more importantly money to keep the sport alive. Cricket also has it's share of fans.  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies and to some extent in teams like Australia, England (Remember Barmy Army) are the teams with the solid fan base behind them and their opinion cannot be ignored. Perhaps Indian team would be the team with 1.2 Billion as the largest number of fans behind a team.

Cricket in Associate world is not as lucky as most test teams. Most of the multinational tournaments happen in front of empty grounds. But this is not the case everywhere. A typical match in Nepal, Afghanistan will get ten of thousands of people to the ground. It would get an decent gathering at places like Ireland or Scotland.

Here in Associate in the country of highest mountains, the fans have started a commendable task as big as everest itself. The fans were always active here. Infact when I started following Associate Cricket it was a website dedicated to Nepal cricket ( A real rare at that time) that got my interest. Then the fans had the biggest cricket group and fan pages on facebook, discussing about Nepal cricket and did not discard the support even at tough times like when the team got stuck in Div 4. They all had a belief ( Still have the Belief) that team is meant for something higher and would soon be joining the big boys.

Then this year came div 4 and the team had a cent percent record here and returned to streets filled with fans. This is the time when few die hard fans came together to form a fan club. One of them my real good friend (Birat Raya) along with others went from post to poll to get an official nod for the fans club and was successful. This I believe after present coach Pubudu is the most important development for Nepal Cricket

Fans Club around the world play an important role. In some sports the member of fan clubs are part of board of teams to represent the fan's point of view while making decisions and also get teams to identify talent from Grass root levels.

The Nepal Cricket Fan Club (NCFC) is already getting resounding support. As a first step they got an electronic scoreboard installed in the ground. Then in this week came an important landmark "" their exclusive fan club page. I liked the name when about a year ago when Birat bounced it off to me.
Nepal has a huge fan base
However these are just small steps in the long journey the club needs to go for. I would list down few steps the club should aspire as part of their journey

1. Written Constitution and a Democratic Institution
An important part of a young organisation is defining a constitution that clearly helps it define the vision, mission and the path that will be taken by the organisation. Defining a constitution also ensures that it builds in transparency and trust of the fans who will be pinning their hopes on the club

Being democratic is another part of being transparent. However a person may love a thing but it is the critics that makes the best out of him. The Iranian King loved the country and wanted to make it a superpower but still was thrown out in a revolution because there was no democracy to let off the steam. An election will keep bringing in new set of people who will bring in new ideas

2. Permanent Face- Salaried Employs
In any successful country or company there are always a permanent face and a new face that keep coming. Like in democratic countries the Politicians are the new face and Bureaucrats are the permanent face. This helps in bringing the stable face for organisation. Even in private companies in sales they have their employs at location as new faces and distributors as the constant faces.
I am jumping the gun but when things get stabilized then NCFC should definitely have some central and regional salaried representatives.

3. Nominal Paid Membership
There is a saying "There are no free lunches in the world". NCFC surely needs loads of members but it should keep a nominal fee for membership. I am not saying something like Rs 1000 a month but it might be token like Rs 100/year
Why because it will bring in 2 benefits- Firstly it would bring in seriousness of members who would now have stakes in the organisation and would force it to be accountable and secondly it would bring in a source of income for NCFC

4. Conducting Regional Tournaments
This would be the real and most important contribution to cricket. NCFC should have conduct these tournaments across the country where it will make teams from the rural to come out and unearth the raw talent. Then they could identify the potential talent and bring them into contact with coaches and selectors to unearth the best of them. I always believe that Nepal Cricket team does not represent the best XI. According to me there surely are many players who will be better than some in the team
We must remember that Pakistan team always brought in pacers who belonged to poor families and did not know English. There were the most lethal lot. India came out much stronger when players from smaller cities started coming in like the present captain Dhoni

5. Supporting the players for specialized training
Although this is the job of CAN, but we know that finances can be a constraint for CAN. Here NCFC can really step up and contribute. It has already done the support like it already did for sending 2 players to Sri Lanka.  

Personally I am very positive for NCFC as I know some of the die hard Nepal cricket lovers like Birat Raya, Anna Bhola have taken the realm of the organisation. I am really hopeful and hope that Nepal team would be joining the big boys and the Rhino Army would be supporting their team in T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said Jashan. The level and expectation of cricket and its people in Nepal has risen. I can see only Afghanistan among the associates matching Nepal in this aspect but Nepal has a really huge fan base. It reminds me of facebook posts after they won ICC Div 4 and joint winners of ACC Elite. Cricket needs fan and having such a huge fan base tends to shift the interest to the game. A nominal fee for NCFC membership is a welcome step if they decide it to do so. Atleast fans who properly follow Nepal cricket will add to it. Hope we can provide a platform for the players of Nepal to interact more often with the fans and this NCFC provides a base to do so.
    Nepal is playing its semi-final tomorrow against UAE and I am expecting atleast 10000-12000 fans to join the team and provide the vigour needed for the win.
    Long live Nepal cricket and its fans. We want Nepal playing 2014 T-20 and 2015 WC.
    Thanks Jashan for such a diagonal view on the Nepal cricket and its fans.