What is your country’s favourite sport?
Football, by far is the most popular sport in the country. Cricket comes very close, but the number of football fans across the country will outnumber any other fanbase by some distance. Our national team, however, disappoints more often. We have only achieved success at a regional level, never been to the World Cup. In fact, we don’t even make the qualifiers.
Cricket, however, is a sport on the rise. Influenced by our southern neighbors India, the southernmost cities actually spend more time playing Cricket than they play football. Our national cricket team has achieved higher, with the team reaching the World Cup T-20 once, the youth teams doing exceptionally well in their age groups against the heavyweights of the game over the years. Nepal currently holds the record for bundling out their opponents (Myanmar) for a mere score of 10 (lowest in the world), setting themselves a target of 11, and then winning the game in just 2 balls. Mehboob Alam, a Nepalese International, also holds the record for being the first player to take all 10 wickets in a limited overs match. The fan following is also on a sharp rise, with a large number of people flocking to the grounds and stadiums where the national team is playing, or to their TVs. The future looks brighter (as compared to any other sport in the country) for Nepalese Cricket and hopefully, it will be the same for the sport’s fanbase.
I had to pick football, however. Most of our country is mountainous, the rural areas of the country do not have suitable grounds for the sport of cricket to be played, let alone pitches. The lack of kits/equipment also hinders the game’s growth in areas that aren’t easily reachable. Most Nepalese do not understand the laws of the game, hence do not contribute as fans. Football runs out as the victor due to these reasons, among others.