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BCCI should help Nepal the way it backed Lanka: Dassanayake

New Delhi: Nepal head coach Pubudu Dassanayake wants the BCCI to support the neigbouring Himalayan nation the way it supported Sri Lanka when it was striving to become a force in international cricket. Dassanayake, who played 11 Tests and 16 ODIs for Sri Lanka between 1993-1994, has sought more support from the powerful BCCI at a time when he is supervising Nepal's first official camp in India.

"I would want to put this matter into perspective. I vividly remember, how the Indian board helped Sri Lanka in the early 80s. We got to play in the Duleep Trophy regularly and that really helped Sri Lankan cricket. Now we are a strong cricketing nation. I hope the BCCI does the same for India's another neighbour Nepal," Dassanayake told PTI from Dharamsala where his team is undergoing a 15-day camp ahead of the World T20 qualifier next month.

Further explaining his point, Dassanayake said BCCI extending a helping hand to Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake shows it believes in the abilities of the team. "We were trying to approach BCCI even before but with the last World T20, Nepal showed how good they are. BCCI too are now very positive (about the team) and I am looking forward to have a longer support from them.

Nepal has the capacity to become a full member country but for that to happen it needs help from full members around," said the Kandy-born player turned coach. Nepal made its presence felt on the big stage by qualifying for the World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014. Dassanayake is confident of another qualification for the
2016 edition but says the team could take at least 6-8 years to become a force to reckon with.

"Within 6 to 8 years, Nepal can be a strong outfit. They have the capacity, the talent is there like any other Asian country. What is missing is the structure, things like proper tournaments and good facilities. Until that happens, they will continue to tour countries for camps and competitions," said Dassanayake, who has also coached Canada in the past and is now based out of the North American nation.

Dassanayake's predecessor in Nepal was fellow Sri Lankan and Sri Lanka's first ever batting great Roy Dias. He took over from Dias after coaching Canada to the 2011 World Cup. Though he now lives in Canada, Dassanayke is enjoying his time in Nepal more.

"I am enjoying my job with Nepal more than my stint with the Canadian team. I did not enjoy as much in Canada probably because of the culture differences. Plus Nepal is a country that you cannot miss. There is so much interest in the game. When there is a game in Kathmandu, the small stadium there is packed. The people want to know about the players," he said.

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