Fortune smiles on a passionate cricket fanPrashant Neupane, a 12-year old cricket fan from Nepal’s remote village, has found a platform to educate himself at a boarding school in Kathmandu and get nurtured as a cricketer.
Prashant Neupane, a 12-year old cricket fan from Nepal’s remote village, has found a platform to educate himself at a boarding school in Kathmandu and get nurtured as a cricketer.
When Nepal were taking on Namibia in the ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Namibia on April 16 and 18, Neupane was among those in the crowd brought from his village in Taklaak, Parbat just to grace the game. Sanjay Kafle, an agriculture student, had brought the kid to Kathmandu to allow him the opportunity to watch the games after noticing him as a die-hard cricket fan who plays the game in the rough terrain with self-made plastic balls and bat.
Kafle discovered more about the kid when he found newspaper cuttings of stories published on national cricketers at his home in Parbat. On Monday, Neupane was singing the national anthem at a morning assembly in Babylon National School in Shantinagar with his face glowing to the tunes played by his schoolmates. Neupane has already become a face of the school which has provided him with full scholarships from Grade VIII to X, thanks to an initiation from national team skipper Paras Khadka.
Neupane idolises Khadka. “He is the biggest allrounder in Nepali cricket and watching him play is a pleasure. I watched him score a century (against Namibia) in Kirtipur and it was a great feeling for me,” said Neupane, who keeps a good account of national cricketers’ performance.
Neupane’s father Rukmangat had lost both of his legs to polio and his mother was born without a left limb with the family entirely dependent on agriculture. Rukmangat wanted to quote country’s great poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota to relate the change of fortunes of his cricket-mad son.
“Devkota once said ‘there are many Shakespeares in the remote villages of Nepal but they need opportunity’. I believe this is the opportunity for him to realise his dream to be a cricketer,” said Rukmangat.
Neupane is also provided with a full scholarship to learn cricket at Great Himalaya Cricket Academy (GHCA) in Shantinagar, where he is currently undergoing basic training. “He is a raw talent and we need to give him a proper grooming. His love of the game will make him a cricketer,” said Sudeep Sharma, GHCA Director.
Babylon Principal Raju Chamling Rai hoped Neupane would make the most of the opportunity. “He is very dedicated towards cricket. He has language problems but being a good student in mathematics, he will do good well in all subjects,” said Rai.
At 12, Neupane has already matured. “I want to play cricket wearing national colours. But I don’t want to stay at the city which is very deserted. I want to go back home and train youngsters in my village,” a confident Neupane said.