Cricketers Sompal Kami (L) & Bikram Sob during a training session at TU Cricket ground in Kirtipur on Wednesday.(Bijay Gajmer/Republica)
KATHMANDU, July 7: Nepali national cricket team will leave for England on July 11 to play against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The tour is of great importance to Nepal, which is set to play two List A matches against the Netherlands.
Nepal will travel to the Netherlands for the matches of the ICC World Cricket League Championship scheduled to be held on August 13 and 15.
Although, the match between Nepal and MCC at the Lord's Cricket Ground on July 19 will be played to mark the bicentennial relations between the two nations, Nepal is eying to use the platform to prepare for the championship.
During its England tour, Nepal will not only play against MCC but also play two 20-over and two 50-over matches against local clubs that will help Nepal adjust in the European condition similar to the Netherlands.
“England tour is an opportunity to prepare for the Netherlands matches. We believe that the tour will be helpful for us as the pitch condition is similar to the Netherlands,” said Nepali team skipper Paras Khadka, who added that the team has had sound preparation for the tour.
Head coach Jagat Tamata was also optimistic that the team could benefit from the tour and the results against the Netherlands later could be in Nepal's favor.
“The England tour could be vital for Nepal while facing the Netherlands. We will prepare for the championship keeping the England matches in mind,” said Tamata.
During the England tour, Nepal will be focusing on mental preparations and try to figure out team's strength and loopholes. Maintaining players' fitness level will be another major issue for the team.
“After pointing out the team's strong and weak points, we will formulate our plans for the Netherlands matches. However, results will also depend upon players' performance,” said Tamata, who rated the Netherlands as one of the tough teams. “Playing at opposition's ground will be another challenge for us,” he added.
Nepal has already played in the Netherlands when it faced the same opponent in four T20I matches last year. However, Nepal lost the series 3-1.
Most probably, Nepal will also play against the same faces that were in the Netherlands squad last time.
“The Netherlands has majority of the same old faces like the Nepali team. So both the teams are well aware of each other. So, we have to be mentally strong against the Dutch,” added coach Tamata.