KATHMANDU, Sept 7: An 18-member preliminary squad of national cricket team for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Hong Kong has been announced on Wednesday.
Independent Selection Committee headed by International Cricket Council (ICC)’s Development Officer for Asia Region Venkatapathy Raju, national team head coach Jagat Tamata and skipper Paras Khadka finalized the squad.
Nepal is travelling to Hong Kong next month where to play two matches against the home team. The first match will be played on October 13 at Mission Road Ground, Mong Kok and the second match will be played two days later at the same venue.
Nepali team is in the sixth position with eight points in the competition participated by eight nations. Nepal will have to win both matches to keep its slim hope of securing place in the 2019 world cup qualifiers alive.
Netherlands leads the table with 16 points while second-placed Papua New Guinea and third-placed Scotland have 14 and 13 points respectively. Likewise Hong Kong is in the fourth position with 11 points. Top four teams will secure their berths in the world cup qualifiers.
The squad under the captainship of Paras Khadka includes Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar, Basant Regmi, Mahaboob Alam , Sompal Kami and Sagar Pun.
Binod Bhandari, Karan KC, Jitendra Kumar Mukhiya, Sushil Kandel, Kushal Bhurtel, Lalit Bhandari, Sushan Bhari and Naresh Bahadur Budhayer also have made final cut in the squad.
Similarly Mohamed Arif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee and Sandeep Lamichhane are other players to receive call-up.
Meanwhile, the squad was finalized from the pool of 25 players who were in the training camp started from August 25 at TU Cricket Ground. Head Coach Tamata said that the squad is finalized on the basis of players’ past record and the performance during the training camp. “We played a total of five practice matches during the training which was one of the bases of the player selection. Another one was their past record,” said Tamata.
He also expressed satisfaction over the ongoing preparation. “Our preparation is going good so far. Players are working very hard. It won’t be an easy task to finalize the final squad since everyone is doing well,” added Tamata.
Skipper Khadka said that they have tried to select the balanced team. “We have tried to pick the players who are good in at least two departments out of batting, bowling and fielding,” said Khadka.
He was also hopeful of young players impressing in the further training camp and in the tournament as well. “This time our squad is full of young talents, and hopefully they will prove their worth in upcoming training and in the competition as well,” Khadka expressed his hope.
Training camp in India Head coach Tamata informed that Nepali team is likely to have training camp in India. Tamata further informed that the proposal to ICC over having the training camp in one of the nations among India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has been sent. “I think the ICC will endorse our proposal within two-three days. Most probably ICC will manage the training camp for us in Chennai, India,” informed Tamata.
Nepal is likely to fly to Chennai on October 3 where it will play five practice matches against the local sides during their weeklong stay.
He also shared his plan of finalizing the 14-member final squad after concluding the training camp in India.