On September 8, Sagar Pun, who took a rest from cricket for a long time due to a knee injury, made an aggressive comeback. With his contribution of 45 runs (not out), the Non-resident Nepali team started their journey in the 9th National Games with a victory.
The victory did not merely increase the confidence of the team but it also raised hope for Pun to continue his cricket career once again in the national team.
Allrounder player Sagar Pun sustained an injury in December 2018 when his career was at its peak, and it ruined all of his name and the fame he earned with his performance.
The knee injury recovered after a year, but Pun went through a lot of troubles and humiliation. He went to the US after his efforts to join the national team failed. “I was preparing to get back in the national team and began my practice as well, but I couldn’t make it happen,” says Pun.
Sagar Pun is not the first Nepali sportsperson who left the country due to an injury.
Now, he says national players must have easy access to the national team after recovering from injuries. “There must be someone to encourage the injured player, but in my case, there was no one who ask about me,” says Pun. “I was seeking motivation and encouragement rather than financial support.”
Yet, he continued playing cricket in the US. But, he did not get an opportunity to return to Nepal. But, this time, he grabbed the opportunity for the 9th National Games, representing the NRN team. “I was desperately looking for a chance to play cricket again,” says Pun.
The opening match between NRN and Sudurpaschim was dropped to six overs due to the rain. Sagar Pun as an opening batsman scored 46 runs (not out) in 19 balls accompanied by 3 fours and 3 sixes.
The captain of the team Sunam Gautam scored 24 runs. In total, the team scored 74 runs in six overs, losing four wickets. In the second innings, Sudurpaschim earned 62 runs in the six overs, losing six wickets.
The NRN team added two points after winning the match by 12 runs. And, for this, Sagar Pun is very much happy with his comeback as he became the Player of the Match.
“To get a chance to play in the homeland gives me the next level of happiness,” says, adding he badly used to miss Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground of Kirtipur while in the US.
The immediate goal of Pun is to get the victory for the NRN team in the tournament. But, at a personal level, he is already emotional to play in the homeland after a hiatus of four years. He still has hope of playing for the national team. Every player has a dream to play for the national team, and Pun is no exception.
“I am ready to play for the national team anytime if my performance will help them,” says Sagar Pun.
It depends on his hard work and performance whether he will get an opportunity to play for the national team.
This story was translated from the original Nepali version and edited for clarity and length.