Posted on June 5, 2024

Nepal’s Dallas Diaspora and the Sound of Passionate Silence

Firdose Moonda, ESPN, June 4, 2024

There are an estimated 15,000 Nepalis living in Dallas and there was room for less than half of them at the Grand Prairie Stadium, but they turned up to form a sea of blue and red and staged some of the eeriest silences the tournament has heard. Don’t get this wrong: there was cheering and lots of it, and there happy smiles and handwritten signs expressing pride in the Nepal national cricket team, but when Kushal Bhurtel was given out lbw in the fourth over, or when Max O’Dowd hit the six that put the Dutch the three runs away from the win, the sound was sucked out of the arena like a vacuum.

Think back to the Ahmedabad crowd at the ODI World Cup final and imagine a similar passion a world away, among a much smaller group of people with seemingly much lower stakes. Or not. This is only their team’s opening game of the tournament, but it is perhaps the most important. {snip}

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Vivian Kingma found swing straight away and bowled his full quota of overs upfront, albeit with no reward. What he did, though, was sow the doubt in the Nepal batters’ minds that the bowlers at the other end could reap benefit from. Tim Pringle, the left-arm spinner, flighted the final ball of his opening over, Aasif Sheikh tried to make room and got a thick edge to short third. Pringle got a second in the over after Kingma finished when Anil Sah fetched a delivery from outside off to sweep and top-edged. By then, Logan van Beek had already removed Bhurtel and there had been three stunned silences.

“I’m not sure whether we are in Nepal or Dallas,” van Beek said at the halfway mark {snip}

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The Nepali diaspora were drawn to Dallas for the strong job market and possibilities in education, and have established organisations such as the Nepali Association of Texas and the North Texas Nepalese Society, to serve as touch points for their community. Few things would have brought them together like seeing their national cricket team in action, albeit in a losing cause, because this is the only time they will see them. Nepal move to Florida and then Saint Vincent, and it’s unlikely many of the Dallas locals will be able to follow them. At least, they’ll always have today.