What was the most memorable event for any of my reader back in 2014? The scratchy question strikes once again, with my keyboard pressing such cool exclamation of interrogative punctuation.
Please don’t get into the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines (MH 370) which undoubtedly was one of the tragic events of our era. Other might get into the FIFA world cup, which certainly was a proud event for mighty Germans but was a horrible experience as Brazilian fans that got thrashed by the strong German set of players.
What particularly Cricket has given to the Global fans? Just get into this in depth analysis that would mold the happiness of cricketing world which added millions of supporters as well as viewers from a cricket crazy country of jubilant fans.
Well, it was undoubtedly known as Country of Himalayas till 2014 before 2014 Cricket World Cup struck as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the whole nation of cricket lovers.
Now I am closest to the point that made me get into the head of my readers, 2014 reverberated Ramiz Raza as well as Danny Morrison shouting out loud as,” off he goes” “ Catch me if you can” “our Bruce Lee” to one of the most gentle, humble as well as hardworking cricketer Nepal has ever produced.
Yes, you’re definitely right. It’s none other than Shakti Prashad Gauchan, a 6 ft 1 inch lanky left arm orthodox cunning bowler who in your best of the days would give you some balls to defend. Don’t take it easy as he is just 2nd International Centurion from Nepal too.
Born in Rupandehi district which is famous after Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Gauchan naturally possess this factor of peace in him intrinsically. As a part of middle class Nepalese family, he worked extremely hard to make it in the Nepalese Senior team in 2002.
He was in the side for his outstanding efforts in U-17 level as well as Asia Cup which was held in Bangladesh in 2001 AD. Sitting here in a well furnished room in 2018 it would be a tough ask for me to jump my conscious brain back to the flash back of 2001, although I am pretty sure I was somewhere hitting medium fast bowler with slowest run up out of the boundary which was near about 10 yards from my batting crease.
Eventually, he proved that he was not just a headlined rising star but a soothing star that carries millions of young wish to let them shine under his luminescence.
He bagged 7 wickets with deceit economy of 2.28 in his debut tournament in 2002 AD. This was not just his ingredient, as he scored 248 runs at a descent average of 41.33. The news was not buzzing as it was just a year where social media was normal. India won the Nat-West Series Final, the same year in Lords with Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh rose to the occasion and eventually turned into the youth icons of Indian cricket.
After that, a struggle of a bowler with a lion heart begun the fresh chapter , who single handedly (alongside Basant Regmi) provided Nepalese with some memorable performances that filled Nepalese youth with a belief that if a Nepalese youth wish, he/she could turn ashes into gold in no time.
Picture Credit: The Cricket Monthly, www.espncricinfo.com
Among such outstanding performances, his standout performance as far as I am concerned was that magical spell of 10-8-2-3 in ICC WCL DIVISION IV match against Malaysia in 2012, a decade after his debut and a result after his dedication as well as knack of bowling heaps of deliveries in the right areas with similar grouping to both left and right hander’s.
Had Nepal already got the ODI status then, it would be the best spell of ODI cricket and current best figure of legendary Phil Simmons would be second after Shakti. Nevertheless, this was surely one of the best Associate bowling performances of all time.
When asked about what feared you most not to retire early from playing cricket and giving youngster’s chance? Before he left to Uk and Netherlands tour to play his last as well as Country’s 1st ODI, he soulfully depicts about the fear if today’s youngsters would have same dedication level to play for the country and if they would ponder the same level of hard work that Shakti Gauchan did some 16 years ago accepting minimum facilities. Still today, country has no governing body with zero school level tournaments. Players are surviving because of the t20 leagues as well as branding they started to get after Sandeep Lamichhane emerged as a young talent globally.
Finally, those teary eyes, an informal speech that always appealed people of Nepal and well wishers all around the world to follow Nepali cricket had one strong message for this current batch as Shakti emphasized that if in his last appearance he will be part of maiden ODI game for the country, the current generation of youngsters must be a part of the Test uniform in their last days before hanging their boots.
I once visited Osho Tapobon in Kathmandu, a place where peace starts from the 1st step inside the huge area of prayers and meditation to keep your head right where it should be. I encountered a place where Osho himself meditated, right below the statue of Osho, I found some extra ordinary words reading out, Never born, never died; visited earth dated 90’s.
Therefore, Shakti Gauchan did born, did play, did perform but will never retire from the soul, heart and mind of Nepali cricket followers. His dedication will always remain warm in our body and will inspire the soldiers of Nepali Cricket to finish their mission left by their pathfinder to wear white uniform and conquer this little world of cricket in the near future.