Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers were left to share the BBL points in Launceston on Wednesday night after rain, which initially raised hopes of a shortened run chase for the Stars, eventually snuffed out the entire match.
After an entertaining first innings where Perth accumulated 6-158 from 17 overs as Melbourne negotiated the absence of leggie Adam Zampa, a long delay caused by persistent rain in the Apple Isle and some hasty calculations left the Stars with a total of 76 to chase from six overs.
Openers Andre Fletcher and Marcus Stoinis got the chase off to the right tone with 10 runs from the solitary Joel Paris over. First ball of the second over from Jhye Richardson, however, caught Stoinis unawares and he was out LBW for four, doing little for this average.
That dismissal was met with more rain, growing steadily, before the umpires reconvened and decided that attempts to finish the match and achieve a result were futile.
Five years after Launceston’s Nepalese community formed its own cricket club, the team now finally feels at “home”.
The Nepalese population in Launceston’s northern suburbs has grown to about 2,000 people in the past decade
The Launceston Nepali Cricket Club first formed in 2015 and now has a team playing A-grade cricket in the state league
The coronavirus pandemic has not deterred interstate Nepalese residents keen to move to Launceston
Mowbray and Newnham, which are about 10 minutes from central Launceston, are the city’s fastest growing multicultural suburbs, with many people relocating from Nepal and Bhutan.
According to the 2011 census, there were only 59 Nepalese-born residents living at Mowbray.
Now it is estimated there are 2,000 Nepalese living in Launceston’s northern suburbs, and that figure is continuing to grow.
It is in the suburbs of Mowbray and Newnham where the Launceston Nepali Cricket Club formed in 2015.
The club, which currently has 35 players, hopes to eventually have multiple teams playing in the Tasmanian Cricket League roster, including a junior team.
Up until this year, the team had been using a ground at Exeter, 40 minutes away on the other side of the Tamar River, making it hard for many players to train and play.
Now, the northern suburbs’ main high school, Brooks High in Newnham, has opened its oval for the team to use as its home ground.
It is the first time the club has had its own home ground in its local community.
“I just want to bring the tent and sleep over everyday, I feel like I’m in my house — I’m home,” club vice-president Sulabh Maskey said.
Club a source of pride
The club first formed to create community comradery.
“We started to play with the Indian community, just like a friendly match and then one day I heard about the TCL [the Tasmanian Cricket League],” Mr Maskey said.
The league welcomed the club into its 2019-20 roster in B-grade division. It came third and this season it is fielding a team on the A-grade roster.
“I wasn’t expecting that he [the league president] would give us a break,” Mr Maskey said.
“But when we were having a conversation he realised that we were really, really hungry and trying to represent our nation, our community, to the local community.
“The opponents’ teams are very, very experienced and we’re learning and we’re making really good friendships.
Club secretary Maheshwar Parajuli moved to Launceston from Sydney in 2018.
“I was interested in playing cricket but I hadn’t got any good chances there, and once I came here I found a few boys playing,” Mr Parajuli said.
Mr Parajuli, who is a self-confessed “good bowler”, said now the home ground was close to where he lived, it helped create a work-sport balance.
“You can come here from your shift break, so you can take a break, like half an hour, so it’s so good to be here,” Mr Parajuli said.
“The guys are working hard, so hopefully we’ll get the best result this year. In our home-ground games, we expect more people to come and cheer for us.”
Bringing families together
The move also means many of those now able to cheer from the sidelines are the players’ families.
Nisha Shrestha said it was previously hard “to manage the time” to watch her husband play home games when they had to travel so far with a three-year-old child.
The new home ground had made that easier.
“I feel good to watch the cricket, it’s really close to my home,” she said.
“My mother-in-law has come to support them.”
Saru Aryal felt the same.
“I have two kids and they are both very excited to see the cricket,” Ms Aryal said.
“It’s a proud moment for us, so feeling pretty excited, happy, proud — it’s a mixed feeling.”
COVID-19 fails to deter arrivals
Ella Dixon, chief executive officer of Launceston’s Migrant Resource Centre, said that even with the need for quarantine, the northern suburbs’ Nepalese community had continued to increase during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Pre-COVID there was a regular number of people arriving under the humanitarian program,” she said.
“The restriction on international borders has certainly put a stop on people arriving, but in the COVID era we’ve seen quite a number of Nepalese moving from interstate.
“There’s been a bit of movement within Australia of people following pathways to employment and permanent residency.”
Ms Dixon said the community was fast making its mark on the regional city.
“Even things like the foods in the supermarkets, the type of shops that are in the main street of Mowbray now reflect the changing demographic of the northern suburbs.”
One of Tasmania’s oldest residents has celebrated her 109th birthday, but not in the way she could have expected.
With coronavirus restrictions in place around the country, Launceston’s Chloe Duncan could only have a small gathering of nursing staff, along with two family members, inside her aged care room on Wednesday for the big celebration.
“My brother Tony and I were able to go see her, and she does have quite a few bunches of flowers — we all sent her some.”
Mrs Duncan was born in 1911 and is now living through her second pandemic.
She endured the Spanish Flu in 1918 and as a young girl survived two world wars, the Great Depression and the 1929 Tasmanian floods.
“She used to talk about the Spanish Flu,” Mrs Finch said.
“Papers and bread and things used to be passed through a tiny gap in the window — they were only allowed to open it so high, and they’d have to reach out through the window.
“They got through it.”
She always liked her vegetables
Mrs Finch said her mother’s secret to living a long life came down to diet.
“She’s always liked her vegetables and loves spending time in the garden,” she said.
“It’s a bit hard now but she used to get out there a lot.”
Mrs Duncan used to be ballerina and also had a passion for knitting.
“Mum used to make a lot of our clothes when we were young,” Mrs Finch said.
Too many grandchildren to count
Mrs Finch is the second eldest of Mrs Duncan’s 11 children and says this birthday for her mother has been tough without a lot of family around.
“We’ve lost count of how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren she has — there’s so many in Sydney and Queensland,” she said.
“You need proof of a recent flu shot before entering the aged care facility, along with a temperature check.”
Once the restrictions ease, Mrs Finch said she was excited to see her family from interstate come to visit.
“I’m excited to see my children come down from Queensland — that’s what I’m looking forward to most,” she said.