While the Nepali cricket team are celebrating their victories against the UAE in one day and T20 series, one of the forgotten names of the team is gearing up for a comeback.
Prithu Baskota, once a captain of Nepal’s U-19 team, was at one point of time dubbed the man who would help Paras Khadka take Nepali cricket to new heights. But his ‘bad luck’ with injuries has meant that he hasn’t been part of the national team for nearly four years now.
Having represented Nepal in all age groups and been involved in cricket since he was 12, Baskota feels that the injuries are part of a sportsperson’s career. “I’ve been unlucky with my share of injuries; but I think these things happen to many athletes. You can call it bad luck or fate, I have to accept and move on,” he says.
Baskota, who made his national team debut in 2010, first suffered a knee injury during the closed camp before the 2014 World T20 Qualifiers. He twisted his knee during warm up and later found out that he had his ligament torn. It was since then that injuries applied a handbrake to his cricketing career.
Two months after the treatment on his knee, he returned to play cricket and by 2014 he was back into the national team squad for the 2015 World Cup Qualifiers. However, the tournament did not go as planned for Nepal and Baskota.
While Nepal struggled for wins, Baskota struggled to maintain his fitness. In the last match against Uganda, Baskota injured the same knee when he collided with Sharad Vesawkar. Baskota, who was batting on 61, had to retire hurt and his dream of representing Nepal in the World T20 in Bangladesh took a massive blow.
“While the rest of the team continued to take part in Nepal’s biggest tournament to date, I had to sit at home. It was quite heartbreaking at that moment,” explains Baskota.
That injury forced him to operate his knee and was out for over a year. But working hard, he made a comeback again in 2015 during the World Cricket League Championships in Scotland. After playing two games, he was out of the team again injuring his index finger and since then, hasn’t been part of the national team.
Baskota shares that he did not get the right medical help when he injured his finger, which forced him to stay out of the team for a long. “The doctors I went to didn’t have the same opinion. Some suggested I have the operation while some suggested I don’t. In the end, I had an operation, which didn’t go well and I was on the sidelines for more than 15 months,” he says, showing this operated finger.
By the time he was fit, his place in the team was already taken by someone else. “I had to accept that I wasn’t in the team. I was replaced by another young player who was there on merit. I had made to the national team in a similar manner,” he adds.
Baskota, however, does feel that things could have been different had it not been for those injuries. He feels that injuries make it hard for any good players to come back. He also complains that the Cricket Association of Nepal also did not provide him sufficient help for rehabilitation.
But that said, he hasn’t lost hope of the comeback. “I’ve been practising on a regular basis and also taking part in all domestic tournaments. I know I haven’t performed well in those tournaments, but I am determined to make a comeback.”
Published on February 7th, Thursday, 2019 9:39 AM