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Archive for December, 2010

By UJJWAL ACHARYA,

“We nearly beat Sri Lanka,” Roy Dias, Nepal’s long-time cricket coach told his wife Tharanga over the phone after the completion of the Asian Games 2010 match.

Tharanga was probably surprised, not only by the ability of Nepal’s team to put her country on the tight rope, but rather by the way her husband referred to Nepal as “we.” “We’re Sri Lankans!” she remarked.

Oh, yes! Dias is a Sri Lankan – he had represented the tiny nation during its early days of international cricket as a class batsman. He has batted for Sri Lanka with such elegance that those who saw him playing still consider him one of the all-time best batsmen.

But his nine-year association with Nepali cricket made him consider the tiny Himalayan nation his second home. His commitment to the game, relationship with his players and people, and connection with places made “each moment of his nine years memorable” for him.

“It’ll take me a few weeks to realize that I’m in Sri Lanka, that I’ve come back and missing this life,” Dias told me a few days before his scheduled return flight. The 59-year-old inspirational coach concluded his career as Nepal’s coach and is returning to his homeland on Sunday, and it is his retirement from jobs abroad.

A family man

Every time I visited Dias in his hotel room, I noticed a photo-collage at his bedside table that consisted of a picture of Jesus Christ and photos of his family – wife, a son and a daughter. He would always talk about his family. So much so that I feel like I know each of them personally, though I have never met them.

A few years ago, I was tempted to ask him, “Don’t you feel lonely?” He was quiet, probably had never expected the question. The answer was “Yes, I do miss them a lot” but after looking at his eyes, I never dared ask the question again – well, until his return was confirmed.

“In a way, I’m glad that I’m going back to be with my family,” Dias said with a note that “it feels sad to leave.”

“You know, my daughter was nine when I left, now she’s 18,” he said. With his son settled abroad after completing his education, Dias feels it is high time for him to be with his daughter and his wife. “I don’t want to miss them anymore.”

Dias also feels lucky that his family supported and understood him. “My wife has been very supportive and she understood it was a job for me. She also kept all of us very close,” he confided.

Tied by team

When Dias arrived in Kathmandu in September 2001, only knowing that he would be flying to an unknown airport to be met by the cricket board president, he “never expected to stay for nine years.”

“After I came, I realized the passion that you all have for cricket, and then it was an upward climb,” he said. “Every year, the team was doing well, and I had to stay. Then I became a part of Nepali cricket.”

During his stay, he groomed many players from their early age. “Except for a couple of players in the national side now, I’m with all other players from their early age,” he said. “So, in a way, they are like my children.”

Although many consider Dias as the man behind the country’s cricket team’s success, Dias himself considers it a team work. “I’m a coach, a teacher who can only teach,” he said. “It’s the students who have to sit in the exams and do well. So it’s the team that did well.”

Cricket’s long way

“Tundikhel was all football when I came, now it’s more cricket there,” he said. “The passion for cricket here is extraordinary.”

Dias had his share of contributions to the popularity. Under him, cricket teams of Nepal – seniors, age-groups and women – won 11 tournaments, reached finals of four others and semifinals of seven others.

The most fancied victories however are not those statistics. The Youth World Cups (YWCs), though, is one special instance. In 2002, Nepal reached the finals of the YWC Plate Championship, defeating Bangladesh and Pakistan; and in 2006, Nepal won the plate championship, defeating South Africa and New Zealand en route.

However, a couple of losses in crunch matches by the senior teams remain painful aberrations of his successful career.

“The losses against Qatar in 2003 in the ACC Trophy quarterfinals, and Tanzania in the WCL Division 4 in Italy this year weren’t good for us,” he said.

Proud man

“I can be proud that I’m one of the persons from the 1970s in Sri Lanka whom, when people see me on the road, they still recognize and respect,” he told me when I asked about what he valued most in his life.

“I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to take benefits in a wrong way,” he said. “For me, human relationship is important.” He recalled his four years as a professional player in Canada, where he played his final three years without a contract paper.

“It’s faith,” he remembered. When the new chairman of the club sought his contract paper with three games remaining in the season, his teammates were enraged, and asked him to return. He did, and half of the club’s team did not play the rest of the season in silent protest.

“Even now, after three decades, whenever my teammates visit Sri Lanka, they remember to visit me,” he said. “It’s human relationship.”

He believes he succeeded mostly during his stay in Nepal. “It’s been my second home. I love this country and I respect the people here for all the support, love and respect they have given to me,” he said. “I could just say two words to them all – Thank you!”

Source: myrepublica.com

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Great going Nepalese ladies.

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Nepal started strongly as a favourite in opening match of SAFF Womens’ football tournament in Bangladesh today. Nepal thrashed Maldives 7-0 with splendid hat trick from Anu Lama and two mores from Jamuna Rai. Pramila Rai added one as well.

Match is on 82nd minute now.

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Nepal vs Maldives today

Nepalese women eyes first victory on first South Asian Football tournament being held in Bangladesh. Nepal is a runner up in recently held SAG games.

All the best Nepal.

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नेपालले पहिलो साफ महिला फुटबल च्याम्पियनसिपको पहिलो खेल माल्दिभ्स खेल्ने भएको छ। दक्षिण एसियाली फुटबल महासंघ (साफ) को आयोजनामा बंगलादेशको कक्स बजारमा डिसेम्बर १२ देखि २२ सम्म महिला च्याम्पियनसिप हुँदैछ।

साफले सार्वजनिक गरेको तालिकाअनुसार समूह ‘बी’ मा रहेको नेपालले दोस्रो खेल अफगानिस्तान डिसेम्बर १४ र माल्दिभ्ससँग डिसेम्बर १६ मा खेल्नेछ। च्याम्पियनसिपको समूह ‘ए’ मा भारत, बंगलादेश, श्रीलंका र भुटान छन्। लिग चरणपछि शीर्ष दुई टोली सेमिफाइनल जाने छन्।

पहिलो संस्करणमा सार्कका सबै आठ राष्ट्र सहभागी रहने भएको छ। गत वर्ष बंगलादेशमा सम्पन्न ११औं दक्षिण एसियाली खेलकुदमा नेपालसहित, बंगलादेश, भारत, पाकिस्तान र श्रीलंकाको सहभागिता थियो। सागको फाइनलमा भारतले नेपाललाई हराएको थियो। च्याम्पियसिपका लागि नेपाली टोली अघिल्लो महिनादेखि झापामा अभ्यास गरिरहेको छ। एन्फाले १८ खेलाडीको अन्तिम छनोटसमेत गरिसकेको छ।

Source:nagariknews

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एउटै कलेजमा सँगै पढ्दा सन्तोषको हाउभाउ र बोलिचालीले सोनीलाई आकषिर्त गर्दै लगेको थियो भने सोनीको रूपले पनि सन्तोषलाई मो हित तुल्याएको थियो । एउटै क्लासका साथी भएर होला दुवैले प्रेम प्रस्ताव राख्न नसके पनि धनिष्टता भने बढाइरहेका थिए । पाँच वर्ष अघिको त्यो स्थितिलाई सन्तोष र सोनीले गत आइतबार वैवाहिक जीवनमा परिणत गरेका छन् ।

जेभियर इन्टरनेसनल कलेजमा पढ्ने क्रममा एउटै कक्षाका सहपाठी सन्तोष र सोनीले एक अर्कासँग विवाह गर्ने प्रण ३ वर्षअघि नै गरेका थिए । नेपाली राष्ट्रिय फुटबल टिमका स्ट्राइकर सन्तोष साहुखल भन्छन्- ‘हामीले ३ वर्षअघि स्वयंवर गरेर कोर्ट म्यारिज गर्‍यौ ।’ सोनी त्यो क्षण सम्झदै भन्छिन्- ‘सन्तोषको बोली-वचन मीठो थियो भने उहाँ सबैलाई आदर गर्नुहुन्थ्यो । उहाँको कुराले मलाई आकषिर्त गरेको थियो, माया त लाग्थ्यो तर प्रेम भएको थिएन ।’ ३ वर्ष अघिकै भ्यालेन्टाइन डेको एक साताअघि उहाँले प्रेम प्रस्ताव राख्नुभयो । जसलाई मैले सहर्ष स्विकार गरे । सन्तोष भन्छन्- ‘मलाई सो नीको रूप साह्रै राम्रो लाग्थ्यो, मनमनै मन पराए पनि भन्ने आँट चाहिँ गर्न सकेको थिइन् ।’ साथीहरूलाई म सोनीलाई मन पराउँछु भन्ने कुरा थाहा थियो । उनीहरूले यो कुरा सोनीलाई सुनाए र मैले भ्यालेन्टाइन डे अघि नै प्रेम प्रस्ताव राखे र त्यो सफल पनि भयो ।

नेपालका सर्वाधिक महँगा व्यावसायिक फुटबलर सन्तोष साहुखल अहिले मनाङ-मस्र्याङ्दी क्लबसँग आबद्ध छन् । नविन थ्री स्टारबाट मनाङ-मस्र्याङ्दी क्लब जाने क्रममा उनको मासिक पारिश्रमिक ५० हजार रुपैयाँ तोकिएको छ । जुन नेपालका व्यावसायिक फुटबलरहरूले पाउने मासिक पारिश्रमिकमा सर्वाधिक हो । उता सोनीले हालै सोही कलेजबाट बीबीएस तेस्रो वर्षको परीक्षा दिएकी छिन् । भविष्यमा हस्तकलाको व्यापार गर्ने सोच बनाएकी सोनीको रहर फेसन तथा इन्टेरियर डिजाइनिङको क्षेत्रमा काम गर्नेछ । सोनी भन्छिन्- ‘यो त मेरो विवाह अघिको योजना हो । अब श्रीमान्सँग सल्लाह गरेर काम गर्नुपर्छ किनभनेे त्यसमा मलाई उहाँको सहयोग पनि चाहिन्छ ।

काठमाडौं छाउनी निवासी २२ वर्षीया सोनी शाही प्रेमजोडी रहेको अवस्था सम्झदै भन्छिन्- ‘इन्गेजमेन्टभन्दा अघि केही ठाउँ घुम्यौ, राम्रा-राम्रा कुराहरू भए, सपनाहरू साँचियो । सन्तोषलाई सोनीसँग प्रेम भएको बेला नगरकोट घुम्न खुब मनलाग्थ्यो ।’ सन्तोष भन्छन्- ‘नगरकोटको एकान्त र त्यहाँको हावापानीले प्रेमीप्रेमिकालाई मनको कुरा व्यक्त गर्न साह्रै सजिलो बनाउँदो रहेछ, कहिलेकहीू हामी लुकामारीसमेत खेल्थ्यौं । त्यसबाहेक हामी कहिले सिने मा हेर्न जान्थ्यौ भने स्वयम्भू पनि पुग्थ्यौं । उनीसँग कुरा गर्नकै लागि कलेज बंक गरेर घुम्नसमेत गएका थियौं ।’

सोनीलाई सन्तोष मन पर्दा उनी नेपालका लोकप्रिय खेलाडी हुन् भन्ने कुरा थाहा थिएन, पछि विस्तारै थाहा भयो । विवाहपछि सोनीलाई नेपालका चर्चित खेलाडीको श्रीमती भएकोमा गर्व छ । सोनी भन्छिन्- ‘मलाई उहाँले फुटबल खेलेको हेर्न डर लाग्छ । उहाँ जतिखेर पनि लडिरहनुभएको हुन्छ । उहाँ लड ्दा आफैं लडेजस्तो लाग्छ । त्यही भएर म प्रायः उहाँले खेलेको म्याच हेर्न जान्न ।’ म्याच सकिएपछि फोन गरेर हालखबर सोध्छु । एक पटक हेर्न जाँदा लडेर उहाँको खुट्टा भाँचियो । म गेम हेर्न आएको थाहा पाउनुभयो भने उहाँ अलि नर्भस हुनुहुन्छ । मैले अहिलेसम्म उहाँले खेलेको ५ वटा म्याच हेरे त्यसमा ३ म्याच भने जित्नु भएकोछ । त्यसबाहेक उहाँले स्पोट्र्स अवार्डमा क्याटवाक गरेको पनि हेरेकी छु । उहाँलाई मोडल हँुदा पनि सुहाउँदो रहेछ ।

वि.सं. २०६६ मा लोकप्रिय खेलाडीको उपाधि पाएका २३ वर्षीय सन्तोषले अहिले नयाँ योजना भने बनाएका छैनन् । सन्तोष भन्छन्- विवाह पछि हनिमुन मनाउन हङकङ जाने प्रस्ताव आएको थियो । अहिले प्रतियोगिता खेल्नु परेका कारण त्यसलाई स्थगित गरेको छु । पहिल्यैदेखि स्पोट्र्स विषय पढ्न विदेश जाने सोचमा रहेका सन्तोषले त्यो सोचमा कुनै परिवर्तन गरेका छैनन् । नेपालमा लिग प्रतियोगिता निरन्तर भैरहने हो भने यहाँ पनि फुटबलको स्कोप छ । विदेश जाने सोच मेरो हो, यो विषयमा मैले सोनीसँग राम्रोसँग कुरा पनि गरेको छैन, अब उनको पनि विचार बुझ्नु पर्‍यो नि ।

गत आइतबार पचली भैरवमा विवाह बन्धनमा बाँधिएका सोनी र सन्तोषले एक अर्कालाई आफ्नो बनाए । सोनीलाई सन्तोषको कुरा बुझ्ने बानी राम्रो लागे पनि छिटो रिसाउने बानीले भने बेलाबेलामा सताउँछ । उहाँ रिसाउनुभयो भने फकाउनै गाह्रो, धेरै मेहनत गर्नुपर्ने । सोनीको पनि रिसाउने बानी छ सन्तोष भन्छन्- ‘उनी रिसाइन् भने म त अघि नै बस्दिनू अघि बस्यो भने झन् बढी रिसाउँछिन् । उनको रिस मुस्किलले एक दिनको पनि हुँदैन । यस्ता कुराले रमाइलो बनाए पनि हामीमा अन्डरस्ट्यान्डिङ भने राम्रो छ त्यसैले पनि हामीले आफ्नो प्रेमलाई वैवाहिक जीवनमा परिणत गर्‍यौ ।

source: Saptahik

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