Nepal Cricket is the Most Exciting Startup for IPL Teams to Invest - Monty Desai

Nepal Cricket coach Monty Desai believes that IPL teams can greatly benefit by expanding their franchise in Nepal and assisting in setting up a T20 League.

Nepal Cricket is the Most Exciting Startup for IPL Teams to Invest - Monty Desai
Dillip Mohanty

Written by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Reviewed by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2023-12-05

6 minutes read

Nepal's Rise in World Cricket

In a World Cup year in India, one of the images that truly captured the passion for cricket came from Nepal. The Nepalese cricket fans flocked to witness the 2023 ACC Men's Premier Cup final (the qualifier tournament for the 2023 Asia Cup) against UAE at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kirtipur braving the rain. When the stadium got filled the fans climbed up nearby trees, buildings, and parked vehicles to witness the history in the making and cheer for their team. The rain-affected match went to the reserve day. The crowd thronged again. Nepal defeated UAE and qualified for the Asia Cup 2023.

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After Afghanistan’s rise in world cricket, Nepal is the next big cricket laboratory. The landlocked erstwhile kingdom at the foothill of the Himalayas is awash with cricket fervour. There is a renewed vigour among the players, supported by boisterous fans. Lately, Nepal’s performance graph is rapidly moving north. They qualified for the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier and retained the ODI status until 2027. They won the 2023 ACC Men's Premiere Cup and qualified for the 2023 Asia Cup. Nepal has booked a berth for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the USA after a gap of 10 years.

Driving the changes for the Nepal team against all odds is Nepal’s mild-mannered and soft-spoken head coach, Monty Desai. Monty brings extensive experience in coaching and player scouting. In an exclusive interview with SportsBoom, Monty outlined the blueprint and challenges for Nepal cricket, explaining why he considers it the most exciting project he has been a part of.

Monty Desai Nepal Head Coach.jpeg

Discussing the current challenges for the growth of Nepal cricket, Monty emphasised two key areas: exposure and infrastructure. Despite the presence of immense talent and passion for the game, it is crucial to provide proper facilities, training, and guidance to polish the players and direct them towards the right path.

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"You just have to see the talent. They just need exposure. I know these boys are raw, not very well polished. But you should see the kind of heart they bring in when they get onto the ground and perform. A little bit of support, a little bit of exposure with good infrastructure in place, they will be very exciting talents.”

Monty Desai on the abundance of talent in Nepal Cricket

The former coach of Rajasthan Royals when Rahul Dravid was the captain in 2011-12, Monty said "You just have to see the talent. They just need exposure. I know these boys are raw, not very well polished. But you should see the kind of heart they bring in when they get onto the ground and perform. A little bit of support, a little bit of exposure with good infrastructure in place, they will be very exciting talents”.

Monty-Desai-Nepal-Head-Coach-2023.jpgThe Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, which serves as the main training venue, has had one bowling machine and two dozen bowling machine balls for the past couple of years. However, Nepal cricket does not have enough funds to hire a sidearmer (a trainer who throws the ball to the batter using a dog stick) on a full-time basis. We want proper playing grounds in all provinces, with multiple bowling machines available to increase batting volume. We need to improve our infrastructure to match full-member nation teams. To achieve this Monty thinks T20 is the format to start with.

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“We are also trying to look at companies with good credentials to come and invest in Nepal T20 leagues. Nepal has a huge potential in terms of eyeballs. There are thirty-five million people”

Monty Desai on the potential of Nepal Cricket

“We are also trying to look at companies with good credentials to come and invest in Nepal T20 leagues. Nepal has a huge potential in terms of eyeballs. There are thirty-five million people”. The Cricket Association of Nepal is very keen on this. If a T20 league is conducted professionally. The league becomes their most important platform to scout and unearth talent, thinks Monty.

Drawing on his Gujarati business background and experience in the USA, Monty suggests and invites the IPL franchise to witness a live match in Nepal to understand the popularity of the game. If IPL franchises invest in Nepal, it could be an exciting opportunity for all. He emphasised on the proximity of Nepal to the IPL teams and sees the potential for significant investment in Nepal cricket.

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“The IPL main franchises have gone all the way to the USA. They are investing there. All the IPL franchises should visit and experience a live game in Nepal. There is no question that why you would not invest into Nepal”

Monty Desai on why IPL franchisee must consider Nepal T20 league

“The IPL main franchises have gone all the way to the USA. They are investing there. All the IPL franchises should visit and experience a live game in Nepal. There is no question that why you would not invest into Nepal”, said Monty emphatically.

Nepal Team Qualified for the T20 World Cup.jpegNepal qualifying for the 2024 T20 World Cup has infused renewed energy to the administrators and players. The players understand the importance of qualifying for the big events and the added benefits they get.

Nepal does not have a proper domestic structure to evaluate the bench strength of the team and unearth new talents. We want to establish a structure to monitor the progress of the top fifty players. While 15 players will travel with the team, we also want to see 30 to 35 players progressing and strengthening our bench. It is important that players at all levels take this seriously said Monty while explaining his plan.

Monty expresses hope to play against full member nations and to get support from big cricketing bodies like BCCI. Monty believes that playing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - a domestic Twenty20 cricket championship in India would be a great opportunity for his players to gain exposure and experience. He proposes the idea that BCCI could help Nepal cricket grow by inviting them to participate in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The coach thinks that such participation would not only attract attention to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but also showcase talented players from Nepal making the tournaments more interesting and competitive.

Monty becomes emotional when he speaks about the love and accolades he and his team receive in Nepal. In addition to setting up the structure and processes for Nepal cricket, he also sends notes to the passionate Nepalese fans. These fans travel everywhere these days to cheer their team. Monty advises them on how to behave gracefully and respectfully in the stadium, both in wins and losses.

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Dillip Mohanty

Dillip Mohanty

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.

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