KATHMANDU, July 16: Nepal is set to begin its ICC U-19 World Cup Division -1 Asia Qualifiers taking on host Singapore on Monday. Nepali youth cricket team which has reached Singapore after one month long preparation in India will face Malaysia and Afghanistan alongside Singapore in the qualifiers to be played in double round robin league format.
Among the participating nations in the qualifiers, Nepal and Afghanistan had played the last edition of the ICC U-19 World Cup held in Bangladesh while Singapore and Malaysia are the winner and runner-up of the Division 2 qualifiers.
Meanwhile Nepal’s coach Binod Das said that all the teams participating in the qualifiers are equally tough. “We aren’t taking any team lightly as all are equally competent. Afghanistan is a tough team so are Malaysia and Singapore who qualified through division two qualifiers,” said Das.
Afghanistan which was awarded Test status recently is taken as the favorite to make the final round of the world cup to be held in New Zealand next year. However, coach Das says that Nepal is good enough to give tough fight to Afghanistan. “We have good team so we can give tough fight to the Afghan side if we play good cricket on that particular day,” added Das.
He also said that he is satisfied with the preparation of his team adding that main objective is to qualify for the world cup. “We have prepared well as our India stay has boosted up the confidence level of the players. Our aim is to qualify for the world cup and we are confident of doing so,” further added Das. Nepal had played five practice matches against the local sides in India where it registered three wins.
Spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who is also the regular member of the senior team is captaining the young Nepali team. He will be supported by Shahbab Alam and Lalit Rajbanshi in spin bowling. “I believe on team play rather than on individual play. We have good bowling and there is depth in batting as well,” concluded Das.