The Player’s box: Meet Rupak Baral from Jhapa

Rupak Baral, 5’5″ feet tallboy, usually enters the Patriotic Cricket Training Centre from the back door at 11:00 am to sweat out for his dream. He always wears a gentle smile while giving a response or having a discussion with anyone. One could hardly see him losing his cool on the field and during the training session. Besides playing, Rupak has the ability to read and learn the game, however, he hardly gets involve in non-sense cricketing arguments to prove his knowledge. He is captain material if he goes on and performs well in every level he plays. He is currently leading his academy (Patriotic Cricket Training Centre) and putting out his everything to pursue his dream of representing Nepal, which is a long way ahead of him.

We don’t feel necessary to give anymore compliment as his bat and performance need to do rest of talkings. Let us take you through a small telephonic interview with the young talent who is grinding himself with the goal of representing his nation

Excerpts

How did it all started? At what age did you start playing this beautiful game of cricket?

  • It started way ahead when I was 7-8-year-old. I started playing gully cricket with a tennis ball with my senior brother. As I grew up, playing cricket in the evening became my daily routine. I also started to follow cricket matches on Television which play important role in growing cricket as my passion and dream. The cricketers around the world inspired me to take the game more seriously. After few years, playing cricket became more of part of my dream rather than just spending few hours in the evening.
    Later on, I was admitted to Nepal Cricket School to get academic training under coaches which help to enhance my raw talent.

What is your favorite cricketing moment so far?

  • The excitement of joining Nepal Cricket Academy is still fresh in my mind. I was very excited to get professional cricket training and it’s undoubtedly my favorite and very important cricketing moment so far and forever. Besides this, I enjoyed playing College Premier League (CPL) in Pokhara which we ended on a winning note. And of course, recently concluded Nine Six Trophy, playing with white outfit and red-ball brings a different level of excitement and energy.

Who is your favorite international cricket player?

  • I used to back and follow Aussies all-rounder, Shane Watson, and he is my favorite cricket player. And of course, I cannot miss the name of our greatest source of inspiration, Paras Khadka.

Where do you see yourself in upcoming five years?

  • Like all my colleagues, my ultimate goal is to represent Nepal at an international level and do well for the country, that’s the biggest motivation to go through all the hard work every day. So, I must keep the target of playing for Nepal as soon as possible, probably within five years.

Which is your favorite cricketing shot?

  • I love to play all the orthodox cricketing shots as far as it comes from the middle of my bat. But if I have to name any, then it’s going to be on-drive and pull-shot.

Please share your experience of scoring 70-odd run in Nine Six Trophy? What differences did you find in longer format?

  • I scored 77 runs in the second innings against United Aadarsha Cricket Academy. The team was reeling at 10-3, and still trailed by 184-run with both openers dismissed cheaply. It’s very special if I look back now, but my motivation was to keep things very simple and bat as long as I can to save the match for my side. One thing I learned from the longer format is, it gives a fair chance to bring yourself back in the game from any situation if you play with full commitment and grit. And another very important lesson is that you cannot take things for granted, just because you are ahead in the context.

Which is your favorite cricket format and why?

  • I love longer-format of cricket more than Twenty20 or limited-over cricket. Being a moderate batsman, my skill-set also matches the format. I believe a longer format tests the patience, skills, and mental strength of the players more than a shorter format does. I was batting well in the nets but failed to score bigs in Twenty20 matches a while before Nine Six Trophy. I batted around 170 balls in that particular innings which brought back my rhythm and I scored three consecutive half-centuries in three Twenty20 matches afterward. Hence, I believe a longer format is the need of the hour in Nepal, at least in age-level cricket.

What’s your next short-term dream?

  • My focus is now to represent Nepal in Under-19 level and represent Nepal in upcoming ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

Above everything that stood out the most for us is his awareness to follow all the diet-plan and commitment to avoid all the unnecessary junk foods, which we rarely observe at the grass-root level. He didn’t share this with us in a telephonic interview, as we learned it from one of his teammates. Soon we asked him to verify, he admits and said, it will be worthy enough to share if he goes on to maintain it all through his career and beyond.

That’s probably what you get after you invest your time and energy at the grassroots level. A Raw talent and his perception before he reaches where he sights himself at this young age. That’s why this section is important for us as it carries emotion of players and mindsets with which they are carrying their dream of featuring in the highest point of the game. It’s not going to be easy at the top and these players are going the right way with all possible skills. The skills unleashed are the one’s who actually needs better grooming and sooner or later the outcome will be seen.

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