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Nepal, renowned for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is gaining popularity in the cricketing world. Despite being a small cricketing nation, Nepal has demonstrated significant determination and growth in recent years.

Nepal secured a spot in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024, after a thrilling eight-wicket victory over the UAE in the Asia Qualifier semi final. The victory marked their return to the global cricketing stage, securing a spot in the upcoming tournament. 

Nepal cricket team will play their second World Cup.
Credit - ICC Official

The team will be playing their second World Cup. Nepal last appeared in the global event of the shortest format in 2014. The team showcased exceptional skills and determination, paving the way for an exciting journey in the upcoming biggest cricketing tournament.

History of Nepal Cricket

Nepal's cricket history is a captivating tale of passion, perseverance, and the growth of a cricketing nation. The British introduced cricket to Nepal during the Rana dynasty in the early 20th century. Initially, the sport was played by the British residents and the Nepali elite. However, the sport gained popularity among the general population, with matches being played in schools and colleges.

The Nepal Cricket Association (NCA) was established in 1946, but took several decades to gain recognition and support. Initially, cricket in Nepal was predominantly played at the grassroots level due to limited resources and infrastructure. They got the recognition as an associate member of the ICC in 1996.

The 2000s marked a pivotal stage in Nepal's cricketing journey. The national team started participating in international tournaments, including the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Trophy and the ICC World Cricket League.

Nepal achieved their significant breakthrough in the 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division Five, by emerging champions. This victory earned them promotion to Division Four, where they finished as runners-up. They continued their upward trajectory by winning Division Four in 2012 and Division Three in 2013.

Credit - ICC

In 2014, Nepal achieved a major success by gaining Twenty20 International (T20I) status from the International Cricket Council (ICC). This enabled them to compete against other T20I teams and participate in international T20 tournaments.

Nepal's impressive journey to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup was also noteworthy. They narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2015 World Cup but made it to the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier. Although they fell short of qualifying for the World Cup, their performance was commendable, and gained them valuable experience.

In recent years, Nepal has continued to make strides in international cricket. They have performed well in various tournaments, including the ACC Asia Cup Qualifier and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier.

Nepal cricket’s achievements and milestones

Nepal has made numerous significant strides in cricket, achieving several achievements and milestones throughout its cricket journey. Here are some of the most notable ones-

2013 - Qualification for the World T20 - In 2013, Nepal qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 for the first time. The team demonstrated impressive performance, winning two out of their three matches in the group stage.

2014 - T20I Status - In 2014, Nepal gained T20I status from the ICC, marking a significant achievement for the country. It enables them to compete against top cricketing nations globally.

2018 - ODI Status Retained - In 2018, Nepal played in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers and finished in eighth place. Despite not qualifying for the World Cup, Nepal's ODI status was retained.

2019 - T20I Series Win Against UAE - In January 2019, Nepal won a T20I series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This was Nepal's first-ever T20I series win against a full-member nation.

2021 - Qualification for the Asia Cup - In August 2021, Nepal qualified for the Asia Cup for the first time. The team defeated Malaysia in the final of the Asia Cup Qualifiers to secure their place in the tournament.

As Nepal continues to strive for further success, these achievements and milestones serve as a source of inspiration. There are several iconic moments that Nepal’s cricket team went through, and that led to their success. However, there are many other moments that are waiting for them in the future. 

Nepal cricket team’s future prospects

Nepal ended their long wait for a return to a Cricket World Cup after they defeated the United Arab Emirates in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier in Kathmandu. Thereby they also booked their ticket to the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Their qualification for the T20 World Cup 2024 is a testament to their growth and potential.

The team has demonstrated remarkable progress and resilience despite facing numerous challenges. Nepal's cricketing journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring cricketers and nations as they prepare to compete against world-renowned teams. The T20 World Cup will be a platform for Nepal to showcase their talent and make their mark on the global cricketing stage.

Nepal qualifies for Men's T20 World Cup, 2024
Credit - Cricket Association of Nepal

With continued support and opportunities, Nepal has the potential to significantly improve its performance and become a dominant force in international cricket. The remarkable progress made by Nepal's cricket team reflects the dedication of players, administrators, and supporters who have worked tirelessly to promote and develop the sport in the country.

Nepal's cricketing future looks promising, with a growing pool of talented players and improved infrastructure. The government and cricket authorities are investing in the sport's development, including the construction of cricket stadiums and training facilities. 

Nepal's T20 World Cup 2024 schedule

Nepal is set to commence their 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup against the Netherlands on June 4. Nepal, along with South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands, has been placed in Group D.

The Rhinos will face Sri Lanka on June 11 in their second group match before playing South Africa on June 14 and Bangladesh on June 16. The T20 World Cup 2024 is scheduled to be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States from 1 June and the final of the mega event will take place on June 29.

Cover Credit - ICC Official