The Godfather

If the ACC want us to play at an even better level, facilities like indoor schools are a priority.

“The qualification rule makes it difficult for us and teams like Thailand and the Maldives for example, to compete with teams at senior level. The changing of those rules would suit us, but more than that we need an indoor school. Getting the players year-long, out of the cold and rain, getting them in the evenings would make a lot of difference. We are usually one of the best fielding sides given but you could see it in our match against Singapore last week, the players were a little slow in the field just because they hadn’t had a chance to practice.

Can the ACC do any more than they are doing for its members already? “The ACC are undoubtedly doing a lot of good. But if they want us to play at an even better level, facilities like indoor schools are a priority”, says Mr. Dias.

When does he think is the ideal time to capture a young cricketer – “I would say that 8 years is a good age to for the basics, the ABC of cricket I would have them learn for two years. You have to get them to hit the ball, just to hold a bat in the natural way for them alone. I would tell them not to copy any one else, especially the ones on TV!”

“If I want to communicate one thing to a batsman, it is this”, says Mr. Dias, “a player can survive with a good technique. Runs may come slowly but he will have survived. I want them to play proper cricket. So many of them tell me they want to hit a six like on television but I do a simple calculation with them. The difference between 6 and 4 is only 2 runs, but the risk level is much more. They can’t get caught if they keep it on the ground.” He himself, rarely hit a six, though there was one glorious flicked six to leg in the 1987 World Cup off England’s Phil de Freitas which was arguably the shot of the tournament. And should any player ever doubt the Dias principles, it would do well to remember that Don Bradman only hit thirteen sixes in his whole Test career. The majority of them only after he’d passed 100.

When you’ve scored a hundred, that’s the
time to think about
getting two hundred.

Although football is the national sport, such has been Nepal’s success in cricket in recent years that the national side’s results are highlighted in the sports pages, the players have minor celebrity and on this current tour of South-East Asia the team even have a full-time representative of the national press travelling with them.

Is there any one thing he’s most proud of achieving with the team? “I have so many youngsters who I am proud of that is unfair to single out any one of them. It is a team game and they win and lose together. But I do tell them this, something which my old coach told me: when you have the knife in someone, that is the time to turn the handle.” Roy Dias, advising on assassination?! “No, what my coach meant was that when you’ve scored a hundred, that’s the time to think about getting a double hundred. Cricket is a game where you can’t relax your determination for one moment.”

September 2004