Happy Birthday Paras: Summing up all the goosebumps

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Happy Birthday Paras: Summing up all the goosebumps

It was 24th October 1987, Paras Khadka came to the world. Widely regarded as one of the best associate cricketer he is renowned for his incredible all round skills and his penchant for record-breaking scoring. Khadka's immense success in cricket is unmatched to any other Nepalese cricketers, making him the true sporting star for his beautiful mountainous nation.

Inside the spirit of some men, smoulders a defiance that is abnormal, a will; so powerful that no ordinary barometer can register it. We dream, Paras Khadka does. This is the massive difference between an ordinary man and Paras Khadka. There is no one thing to greatness. It is physical alertness, technique, wisdom, passion, hunger, determination, patience, vision but more a confluence of these in one surging river of genius. Khadka, who just bagged the player of series award in Netherlands and played at The home of Cricket; Lords, the man who recently smashed his first ever List A Hundred against Namibia in front of his crazy fans who treat him as a National Hero, is a river bursting its banks. What doesn't he have? A tall 6ft 2 inches man who idolizes footballer Steven Gerrard is blessed with a balance all sports demand. He can see so well that as the ball leaves the bowler's hand, he has decided -- while lesser men are still deciding -- where to go, back or forward. He is never wrong. He is calm, the impulses from his brain bringing the message to the body is never impeded by tension or indecision. When he does this, he gains something: time. Other men look rushed, while he look unhurried and become able to play any shot he desires, may be a delicious swing of bat to send the ball over long on or a delightful shot towards the cover.

The person who has gained a celebrity status among Nepali crowd first represented his beloved nation at the Under-15 level when he played in the Under-15 Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December 2002. He played for the Under-19s the following year, playing once against India Under-19s and in the Youth Asia Cup in Karachi. He has represented his nation in three U-19 world cups in 2004, 2006 and 2008 as well as the ICC World T20 2014 for the senior side. Khadka, who has travelled all the journey of Nepali cricket towards greatness took up the national captaincy in 2009. Khadka is the 7th player in T20I history to take wicket on the first ball of career. He set this record against Hong Kong when he bowled out Irfan Ahmed on the very first ball of the innings. Who can forget that moment? All the nation was cheering the national side playing its first game at the biggest stage. Some People were watching the match in television. Many people gathered together to watch the match on projectors. A 2 year old child who just learned to speak was taking the name "Paras" and the same applied to all other age groups. The loadshedding in the country was cut short for this special occasion. Nepal batting first set the target of 150. Paras Khadka was the man who opened the bowling for his side. He came around the wicket against Irfan Ahmed on the first ball of the innings. He pitched the ball on good length on middle and then the ball bounced. Irfan propped his bat out at an angle and he was caught fishing out for it. Paras sent all the Nepali fans wild with this wicket. Everyone watching the match had Goosebumps with it; thanks to the great man Paras Khadka.

Paras made his senior debut on 2004 at the ICC Intercontinental Cup vs. Malaysia on the city he was born on. 2007 was one of the breakthrough year for the current national team captain. He was the captain of the Nepali side who ended up as ACC U-19 champions that year. He also bagged the Player of the Series Award. He was later awarded as the ACC Emerging Player of the year 2007. On the same year, he was the vice-captain of the senior side at the ACC T-20 Cup in Kuwait. With this great year everyone knew something special was in the making. Today almost 10 years later, He has turned up as the most illustrious sportsmen for this nation.

Studying at South Point Boarding High School, Paras was naturally attracted to sports. He had good academic performance too. He chose Science as his core subject in +2. Having played at the U-19 world cup and seeing no one he could replace, Paras almost gave up Cricket to concentrate on his studies. He declined to take part in the training camp but he joined it later persuaded by his family. And then everything changed for him and his country. One thing led to the other, he soon found himself as a regular member of his national side. "My identity starts with cricket and this sport defines me. Nothing brings me more joy than the sound of the ball hitting the middle of the bat when I’m on the crease. Rigid self-discipline, unwavering determination and relentless hard work have helped me to stand where I am today. I am a happy soul aspiring to affect positive changes in everything I do. My mantra for success is, “Be honest and work with absolute determination, and success is yours to grab.” God looks after me and backs me up, so nothing else matters” Paras says.

If not the Cricketer Khadka believes he would have been an architect. He has however been the architect of Nepali cricket. He has bagged up 24 Man of the match awards so far for the national side. There is an understanding; a never articulated awareness among the abnormally gifted that records will arrive anyway. It is the situation to be mastered, the opponent to be numbed that pushes such men. It is elevating not oneself but an entire sport, it is stretching the envelope of possibility, it is all this desire that lurks within Paras Khadka. Eleven versus one on the cricket field is the Paras Khadka fantasy. Paras Khadka led Nepal to ICC World Cricket League(Division 5) title in 2010 on his home soil. In 2012 He led Nepal to the Division 4 title in Malaysia. He led the team in ICC world T20 qualifiers that year where Nepal finished 7th and he was included in Cricinfo's Team of the Tournament. Later that year he was the captain of the team that finished as the ACC Trophy Elite Champions in U.A.E. He was awarded as the player of series on this tournament too. In the year 2013, the Nepali hero led his team to Division 3 title travelling to Bermuda. He was awarded as the player of the series in ACC T-20 cup in Nepal where Nepal finished as runner-ups. It was on the same year; history was made. Nepal finished third in ICC world T-20 qualifiers to qualify the world cup next year. He was included in Cricinfo's Team of the Tournament for the second time in a row. Next year in 2014, Paras led his beloved nation on the biggest stage at the T20 world cup in Bangladesh. In 2015, Nepal qualified for World Cricket League (Division 1) and Paras Khadka was the man of the series on the Division 2 campaign which ensured the qualification of Nepal for division 1.

In the same year on April,Nepal was struck by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake killing nearly 9000 people and injuring nearly 22,000. Millions were left homeless. Khadka travelled to Australia just 2 days before the earthquake destroyed his beloved nation. Khadka, 28 then,was boarding a plane from Brisbane to Darwin when he heard about the catastrophe that has left more than 3000 people dead in Nepal since Saturday and affected neighboring countries. “As I was about to leave for Darwin I got a message on Facebook saying an earthquake has hit Kathmandu,” Khadka said then. He tried to call his family after the news but couldn't talk to them for hours because of disturbed phone lines. Thankfully, all of his family members were safe but his heart was hit badly hearing the death toll and injury tolls. He raised fund of $14,000 Australian Dollars there which would be used for needy peoples. Khadka soon returned to Nepal to help needy peoples. He rushed to the earthquake affected districts to distribute relief goods for the earthquake victims. He played cricket with the kids sheltering in Tundikhel amid lost houses during earthquake. The kids who had tears all around their faces and were haunted with the ongoing aftershocks were so relieved and happy to see their idol playing with them. Paras Khadka hence proved himself as a man who would help his nation in any condition, through any means when the nation needs him. Hats off to Paras Khadka for all his works during this catastrophic period for the nation.Next year in 2016, Paras Khadka scored his first List A hundred against Namibia in front of a whooping 20,000 crowd in Kirtipur. He also played at the Lords the same year against MCC.

This is the story of a great man who will be remembered as a legend for the beautiful himalayan nation. The man who is a big fan of the Red team in Mercyside; Liverpool FC will be idolized by many young people dreaming to achieve heights with National team for many decades to come. Paras may still nurture his genius or spurn it, the responsibility of greatness lies with him. It seems he understands that. He is surer now than before, less driven to petulant strokes or rakish indiscretion. Paras believes in himself, the will to win, the passion to play for the country , the fear and the respect for the rivals—he has it all. The greatest sportsmen of Nepal is a sheer genius and these are all what makes him a living legend.

Letzcricket team is proud to wish you many many happy returns of the day Captain Marvellous. We wish your good health, happy and long life with more to see from your bat and bowl in the coming days. Happy Birthday Captain!!

Shishir Parajuli

Shishir is currently pursuing Bachelor in Civil Engineering at Kathmandu,Nepal. He is a Nepali cricket enthusiast and Writer at Letzcricket