This year, the Nepali sports sector witnessed a plethora of events. Some of them made the nation proud and raised hope while some of them broke the hearts of thousands of Nepali sports fans. Meanwhile, it also saw the downfall of a star player.
Among the various events that happened in the Nepali sports sector in 2022, Onlinekhabar has chosen nine events that you should know about.
1. SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship
In November, Nepal won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-15 Women’s Championship. Nepal earned 10 points from four matches in the competition played in a double round-robin format. Nepal remained the tournament’s sole unbeaten team, sparking a new hope in the Nepali sports sector. Bangladesh, the runners-up, were limited to seven points.
2. 1st bilateral ODI series win at home
In November, Nepal won the Ssixer ODI Series beating the UAE by 6 wickets at Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground. This was the first bilateral ODI series win for Nepal at home.
3. Runners-up at SAFF Women’s Championship
The Nepali women’s football team became the first runners-up at SAFF Women’s Championship after losing to Bangladesh 3-1 at Dasharath Stadium in September. Nepal entered the final after winning over India in the semis. India were defeated for the first time in the 12-year-long history of the SAFF Women’s Championship.
4. SABA runners-up
The Nepali women’s basketball team ended up being the first runners-up in the South Asian Basketball Championship (SABA) Women’s Championship held in the Maldives in September.
Nepal had played in an international basketball tournament after three years.
5. The glory of National Games is back
After three years, the National Games was organised in October in Pokhara. The ninth edition of the biggest event in the Nepali sports sector featured 36 sporting disciplines. Nepal Army with a total of 371 medals stood in the first rank. Similarly, APF and Nepal Police Club stood in second and third position with 219 and 195 medals, respectively.
6. Controversial commencement of the national league
The Nepal T20 League, the franchise tournament of the Cricket Association of Nepal, kicked off on December 24. The tournament featured altogether six teams: Kathmandu Knights, Lumbini All Stars, Biratnagar Super Kings, Janakpur Royals, Pokhara Avengers and Farwest United. However, the event has been shrouded in controversy due to different factors. It seems the Nepali sports sector is not much hopeful of its impact.
7. Sandeep Lamichhane busted
The Nepali sports sector was shaken to the core after famed cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane was arrested on the charge of raping a minor. In November, the Kathmandu District Court sent Nepal’s former cricket captain Lamichhane to judicial custody until the final verdict on the rape charge he is facing.
8. Brain drain among aspiring footballers
Dozens of Nepali national footballers left the country this year after feeling financially insecure in the Nepali sports sector. The failure of the football-governing body led them to choose foreign land, as reported.
Some of the aspiring footballers who left Nepal this year include Ashish Lama, Suman Lama, Abhishek Rijal, Rajan Gurung and Shiva Gurung. All these players are currently playing amateur football in Australia.
9. Coach consistency conundrum
This year, the Nepali national cricket team performed under the supervision of two different coaches: Pubudu Dassanayake and Manoj Prabhakar. The Nepali cricket team have a history of playing for a short span of time under the guidance of foreign coaches, and the trouble continued this year also.
Dassanayake was appointed in December 2021 and he resigned in July. Similarly, Prabhakar was appointed in August as the head coach of the national team and he stepped down from the post in December, making the entire Nepali sports sector hopeless.
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