KATHMANDU, Aug 1: Nepali national cricket team which is scheduled to play the ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Hong Kong after two months has planned to start the closed camp. Nepal will travel to Hong Kong in October to play two away-matches there.
Head Coach of the national team Jagat Tamata informed that the closed camp of the national team is likely to begin in the last week of August.
“We have sent a proposal to International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to start the preparation,” said Tamata. “Once we receive a response from the ICC, we will begin the closed camp, most probably from the last week of August.”
Since the ICC has banned the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), Nepali cricket is monitored by the apex body of world cricket. Hence national cricket team has to coordinate with ICC before starting the closed camp as Nepal receives money for preparation for one month only.
Nepal, a sixth-placed team with eight points from ten matches in the competition among eight nations, will play two matches against fourth-placed Hong Kong that has 11 points from the equal number of matches.
The Netherlands leads the table with 16 points from ten matches while Scotland and Kenya are in the third and fifth places with 13 and 10 points respectively from equal number of the matches. Likewise, Namibia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are two teams at the bottom of the table with identical four points from ten matches.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Nepali team will play its first match on October 13 at Mission Road Cricket Ground while the second match will be held two days later at the same venue.
Since only top four nations from the ICC World Cricket League Championship gets chance to play the World Cup qualifiers in 2018, Nepal will have to overcome Hong Kong in both encounters to keep its slim hope of selection alive.
In its last two matches of the competition against Kenya played at TU Cricket Ground, Nepal had registered one win and suffered one defeat. In the first match against Kenya, Nepal had faced five wickets defeat while it produced seven wickets win against African side in the second match.
Except the clashes against Hong Kong, Nepal has two matches remaining to play in the competition which will be against UAE at home. However the date of the matches against UAE is yet to be fixed.
Meanwhile, national team skipper Paras Khadka attributed to the ICC’s provision of giving permission to start the preparation before one month prior to the tournament as the main reason behind the late preparation.
“We don’t have any option other than waiting ICC’s permission,” said Paras. “ICC doesn’t provide the preparation money before one month, so we have a schedule to start the preparation from the last week of August.”
Meanwhile, head coach Tamata said that there is a very low chance of new faces of receiving call for the closed camp. “We usually expect the new faces in the closed camp from the U-19 team but we haven’t seen any exciting new talents from the age group squad,” said Tamata indicating the U-19 player’s performance in the ICC U-19 World Cup Division -1 Asia Qualifiers held in Singapore last month.
Tamata also hinted that he was not happy with the performance of the players in the First Prime Minister Cup Cricket Tournament held two months earlier at TU Cricket Ground.
PM Cup was taken as the selection tournament to call up the players for the closed camp to begin preparation for the matches against Hong Kong.
“There weren’t exciting new faces in the PM Cup either but two to three new players did well in that competition,” said Tamata. “However as we have several days before the closed camp, we haven’t finalized the preliminary squad.”