ACC Trophy: Group C, Myanmar v Nepal at Club Aman

Ten years ago when so many countries were much of a muchness below a leading few, countries like Myanmar and Nepal could have met on the field and enjoyed a more even contest. Thanks to the ACC, of which Nepal are long-term members, Nepal's cricket has developed tremendously since the first ACC Trophy in 1996.

No way should these two countries play each other until Myanmar are ready. And they will not. The ACC Trophy as with other ACC age-group competitions will have Champions and Challenger divisions, where the top ten and bottom eight countries by ranking play amongst themselves with promotion and relegation between the two divisions.

Myanmar are playing their first tournament. This was the ICC's newest Affiliate Member against a twenty-year old ICC Associate member. Nepal have had the benefit of years of development funding, coaching programs and cricket has embedded itself in the national consciousness. Cricket is now the biggest sport in Nepal, (transplanting football) and the cricketers are national heroes, their every action on the field headline news.

After the conclusion of the match, the Myanamar Cricket Federation’s President sent the following message: “Thank you for giving us a chance to find ourselves. Thank you for your patience and understanding. This failure has to be, the beginning of our success.” It will be.

The Myanmar Cricket Federation operate under the banner: 'Playing Cricket is to Achieve Subtle Supremacy'. They know that subtletly and supremacy are not acquired overnight but take years of dedicated study. They have the will. The ACC will show them the way.

Much depends of course on member countries' individual goals. Maybe some are happy to be minnowing along in the global cricket family, content just to give a select few the chance to play cricket. Maybe. But unlikely. No one likes to be thought of as small and insignificant. When a country plays in international competition, big or small, they are all treated in the same way and play by the same rules.

Big or small, any country can win. Or lose. Once a country identifies with its cricketers then poor preparation and poor performance will not be tolerated. Countries have broken through - Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman - let alone Nepal. Other countries will follow.

We know, our Development Officers know and the countries know that there are enough individuals with hand-eye skills and athleticism to play cricket in the ACC member countries.

Cricket is a great game. It can build a nation. Nepal has shown that. Myanmar believe that.

Ten years from now our goal is to make things come full circle and do away with the need to have two divisions. All countries will have improved and there will be no mismatches. Just pure and simple competition. The winner being first among equals.

The real depth and breadth of cricket in Asia will then be evident.


Myanmar v Nepal at Club Aman
Toss: Nepal
Myanmar: 10 all out in 12.1 overs (M.Alam 7-3; B.K.Das 3-4)
Nepal: 11 for 0 in 0.2 overs
Man of the Match: Mahaboob Alam (Nepal)

Filed August 26, 2006