By a Staff Reproter
Kathmandu – Gyanendra Malla, former skipper of the national cricket team of Nepal, is against the idea that he has to lead the team forever. He made such remarks during a closed-camp training session at TU Cricket Ground, Kirtipur on Tuesday.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had taken disciplinary action against Malla and three other cricketers on December 15 for publicly speaking against the grading system of CAN. Following the row, CAN had decided to exclude Malla, Sompal Kami, Dipendra Singh Aire and Kamal Singh Aire from the grading system for the first six months of 2022.
Dissatisfied with the CAN decision, 12 players close to Malla had boycotted the closed-camp training called by the cricket governing body for the upcoming ICC World Cup T20 qualifiers. The disgruntled players returned to training after the two sides reached an agreement on Sunday.
CAN had also removed Malla from the post of cricket captain and appointed Sandeep Lamichhane in his place.
“I felt a little hurt when I was removed from the post of captain. I contributed so many years of my life to cricket. They took action against me without any valid grounds. I personally felt let down for taking such actions against me without any proper reason. I was never against the board. If it was so, I could have approached some other ways. Probably we wouldn’t have played again,” said Malla.
“We played for so many years when there was nothing at all to cheer for. At least we have a respectable place now. When we demanded better facilities we were accused of speaking against the board. The accusation was against our self-respect,” said Malla, adding, “Let’s see what happens. We need to move ahead in life. I didn’t join cricket to remain captain forever. And I am against the idea that I should lead the cricket team forever. I used to play before and I will play even now. I play for the nation. I play for myself and for my family. That is my aim.”
“We wanted to resolve this issue within closed doors. But we had to make things public for the sake of Nepali cricket and for the future generation. We have a vital tournament ahead. We need to stay united for the tournament. Whatever happened is a matter of past. Now we need to move ahead.”
“I think such unfortunate incidents would not have happened if all of us had discussed these issues before. But whatever happens happens for the best. I hope all the players and the board members have learnt the lesson. We have resolved the problem and have come here for training. This issue is more of a disappointment than a dispute. I think it was blown out of proportions. Instead of a dispute, it was only a discontent regarding a few things. We don’t have much time now. Our main target is to play the World Cup. So I think we need to focus on game,” he added.
Malla clarified that he has no problem for training and playing in the team. “I don’t think there is any personal vengeance against any player or the board. All of us have been playing as a team for the past 10 to 12 years. I don’t have any qualms with anybody. If we still had any issues, we wouldn’t have been here. This problem would have resolved earlier if the board hand held talks with the players.”
Altogether 19 players including Malla had submitted a 11-point memorandum after CAN sought clarification from the players. When asked what were their demand, Malla said, “We had been raising the issue that our allowance was not enough. Why was it so less? We were given different grades without prior notice. The players were not given any papers regarding the grading.”
“They have said they will raise our perks and facilities. We want a long-term solution. We wish for players who can contribute to the team than better perks and facilities. Our main concern was that three players were excluded from grading. They have promised to address the issue through board meeting. Both the president and coach have given us their words,” concluded Malla.