KATHMANDU, Nov 3: A 14-member national women’s cricket team has been announced, Thursday, for the upcoming Women’s World T20 Asia Qualifiers 2017 to be held in Thailand from November 20-27.
The selection committee headed by Aminul Islam (ICC representative), Jagat Tamatta (head coach, national men’s team), Samson Jung Thapa (head coach, national women’s team), and Rubina Chhetry Belbashi (captain, women’s cricket team) finalized the squad.
The squad consists of captain Rubina Chhetry Belbashi, vice-captain Sita Rana Magar, and players Jyoti Pandey, Sarita Magar, Nery Thapa, Roma Thapa, and Indu Barma.
Likewise, Karuna Bhandari, Sonu Khadka, Laxmi Chaudhary, Ritu Kanoujiya, Sabnam Rai, Kajal Shrestha, and Sangita Rai are the other players of the squad.
Roma Thapa and Laxmi Chaudhary are the new faces in the team. Meanwhile, three players—Kabita Kunwar, Nitu Bhandari, and Rekha Rawal—are kept in reserve.
A total of 44 players were called up in the preliminary squad that was later trimmed to 22, and further downsized to 14.
Head coach Samson Jung Thapa said that the players were called to the preliminary squad on the basis of their past performances in the national team and in the Seventh National Games along with the Prime Minister Cup.
Thapa informed that the players of the preliminary squad were divided into four teams to play practice matches during the closed-camp.
“While selecting the final squad, we considered the players’ past performances in international tournaments. And their performances during the closed-camp was another means to include them in the final 14,” said Thapa.
The Nepali team will travel to Bangladesh on November 10 for final preparations of the qualifiers.
“We will play four practice matches against the Bangladeshi sides. We have requested them for teams that will consist of their national players,” added Thapa.
Nepal will compete against China, Hong Kong, Thailand, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia in the qualifiers that will be conducted in the round-robin format.
Nepal will begin the qualifier taking on host Thailand on November 20 and compete against Hong Kong a day later in its second match.
Likewise, Nepal will face UAE and Malaysia on November 23 and 24 respectively.
Nepal will face China in the last league match on November 26.
Top two teams will secure their berths in the Global Qualifiers, which will be an eight-team contest.
A total of six nations will come through the regional qualification process, who will join Bangladesh and Ireland in the Global Qualifiers.
Papua New Guinea has already qualified to the Global Qualifiers as the East Asia Pacific champion while Scotland and the Netherlands have progressed as top two teams from Europe/Americas region.
Likewise, Uganda secured its berth in the Global Qualifiers as the African region champion.
The remaining teams in the Global Qualifiers will come from Asian and East Asia Pacific regional qualifiers.
Bangladesh and Ireland will take part in the Global Qualifiers since they were bottom two teams of the last edition of ICC Women’s World T20.
Top two teams will join Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies in the Women’s World T20 to be held in the Netherlands next year.