Nepali cricket team’s recent success reminds former Indian batting star VVS Laxman of India during 1983.
Laxman, who is here on a two day visit, also congratulated the national team for qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. "I would like to congratulate you for qualifying for the World Cup. I was following the Qualifier and the response you got, especially the captain (Paras Khadka) reminded me of the 1983 Indian team," said Laxman at a prize distribution ceremony of a match between Nepali national team and Air India.
“The 1983 World Cup victory brought a huge change for us. That success encouraged me to pursue cricketing career,” said Laxman. According to Laxman Nepal have made a huge progress of late but need more exposure to move up the higher level. "You need more exposure and the best way to do that is by playing as many matches as you can," he said.
Laxman said that playing against the teams from neighbouring nations India, Pakistan, Bangladesh would be crucial to improve the level of cricket. "If possible playing against the South African and Australians would be even better as the only way to get better (as a team) is by playing with tougher opponents," Laxman, who scored 17 Test and six ODI hundreds for India said.
Laxman retired from international cricket in 2011 after playing 134 Tests and 86 ODIs.
Laxman was invited as guest for the Journey to the World Cup tournament, which features four teams including the Nepali national team, Air India, Delhi Wanderers and the national team of Singapore.
He is also associated with Air India team. He drove straight to the Tribhuvan University cricket ground, the venue of the match, just in time for the prize distribution of the match between Nepal and Air India which the home team won by five wickets.
"Bangladesh and Zimbabwe did it recently and why not Nepal. But for that you need a structured cricket," said Laxman indicating towards the rise of those two cricketing nations. He also applauded the crowd that had gathered to watch the match. "With the kind of support you are getting you can only go forward," Laxman, who scored his Test best 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2000-01, said.
He also advised the players not to get carried away by the recent achievement. "This is just the beginning and you need to work harder to do well," he had told the players before leaving.