While the national cricket team is hopeful of a respectable position in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket being held in Bangladesh this month, Nepalese are enthusiastic about the celebrations of their first ever participation in the World Cup.
The national team’s jersey was unveiled on March 2, 2014 by Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and Singapore’s multinational sports company BS Sports which is sponsoring the kit. The World T20 will be the first assignment in the newly sponsored kit.
Just a day after the unveiling ceremony, renowned personalities from various walks of life joined hands to paint Nepal blue by wearing the national team jersey as a flag-day celebration on match days. The flag-day is a global concept which is celebrated to mark historical events. Nepal will play their first match against Hong Kong on 16 March, with Bangladesh on 18 and Afghanistan on 20 March.
Non-resident Blogger and YouTuber Lexlimbu tweeted:
— lexlimbu (@lexlimbu) March 5, 2014
Among the celebrities joining hands in the campaign veteran comedy actor Hari Bansha Acharya expressed solidarity in his own style. “I will not wear it on match days only. I will wear it before the game and sleep wearing it so that I could get the glimpse of our cricket team winning in dreams,” said Acharya.
A YouTube video of the comedian duo Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya speaking about the flag-day celebrations:
A dent in the plans
As the Nepalese are eagerly waiting for the moment when their team will take on the giants of cricket this March, a silly mistake in the jersey design is poised to play spoilsport. Instead of the blue border of the Nepalese flag, the design dons a white border.
Bikash Karki, Photojournalist with Nagarik daily tweeted:
एउटा बिदेशी कंम्पनीले बनाको राष्ट्रिय जर्सीमा झण्डाको किनाराको रङ्ग फेरिदानि मौनछन् निहो फागुन होकी भदौ हो अहिले 2/2 pic.twitter.com/QLmkGNqUnF
— Bikash karki (@karki2006) March 4, 2014
There is silence even when the border of the national flag has been altered in the national jersey produced by a foreign company. Is it Fagun (February – March) or Bhadau (August – September)?
Some have taken it as a national issue and related it to patriotism.
Somesh Verma, journalist with Republica daily tweeted:
राष्ट्रियतामाअर्कोप्रहार… नेपालीक्रिकेटटोलीकोजर्सीमाझण्डाकोरंगफेरियो… विदेशीशक्तिकोहातभएकोआशंका… देशभक्तनेपालीएकहौं…
— Love Guru (@SomeshVerma) March 4, 2014
Another blow to nationalism. The colour of the flag in the national cricket team’s jersey has been changed. Signs of foreign involvement. Patriotic Nepalis – let’s unite.
Though there is a huge hue and cry about the issue in the social media, some take it as a mere design adjustment.
योझण्डाकोघेरासेतोभन्नेत्यतिठुलोइस्युहुनुपर्नेजस्तोलागेन! लोगोडिजाइनहो, एस्थेटिकरिजनभन्नेपनिहुन्छ | :))
— सन्दीप (@sndpbdl) March 4, 2014
The white border of the flag doesn’t seem to be that big a issue. It’s logo design. There’s some aesthetic reason as well.
However, people are demanding that the colour of the national flag in the national team’s jersey be corected.
Prenit Pokhrel tweeted:
— prenitpokhrel (@PrenitPokhrel) March 4, 2014
Correct the colour of the flag immediately.
Pawan Acharya, Chief of News, Radio Kantipur tweeted:
— pawanacharya (@acharyapawan) March 4, 2014
Those who say blue doesn’t fit well in the blue jersey – have a look at this photo.
The designers, the approval authorities and the kit providers should have taken care to not play with the national colours. Now it is their responsibility to correct the mistake and save spoiling the spirit of the great event and enthusiasm of Nepalese supporters.