KATHMANDU, July 25: Rautahat District Cricket Association (RDCA) has said that there was lack of transparency on the selection of Province 2 squad for the second Inter Provincial Prime Minister Cup (PM Cup), which was held in Kathmandu from May 27 to June 11.
The National Sports Council (NSC) had organized the tournament, with support from Nepalaya Events at the Tribhuvan University international cricket ground.
The selection of the 14-man squad was held in Jaleshwor before the tournament. Players from different districts were trialed in three stages.
However, issuing a press statement, the Rautahat Association has now raised questions regarding the basis of player selections.
“We are not able to understand how the final selections were done. The players who performed during the selections were not selected in the final squad. You can easily see it if you go through the scorecards of the matches that were played during the selections,” stated RDCA.
Province 2 finished fourth in the five-team ‘Group A’, losing three matches and winning one against Province 1.
“The compromised selections were reason for Province 2’s poor performance in the PM Cup. It was an upsetting performance. Players like Aashu Kondoi, who did well in selections and have been playing domestic premier leagues, were omitted without any proper reason,” said Pawan Kumar Gupta, the president of RDCA.
A member of the squad that participated in the PM Cup admitted that the omission of couple of players was shocking. “Most of them were pace bowlers which was already a very competitive quota with guys like Rashid Khan and Rahul Pratap Singh doing consistently well. But, yes, there were couple of players, a batsman and a wicket-keeper, who should have been included,” said a member of the final squad in conversation with Republica, without revealing the omitted names.
The departmental team Armed Police Force Club (AFP)’s Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Airee made a record 231-run partnership in the run-fest against Province 2 during the group match. Both made centuries and it eventually paved the way for Khakurel to the national call up. APF made 339 runs in 50 overs and won the match by 96 runs on D/L method, which was the highest in the tournament’s history.
Province 2 squad was led by veteran Nepal all-rounder Mehboob Alam. Hasim Ansari, Hari Shankar Sah, Ritesh Singh, Suraj Patel, Saifullah Ansari, Rashid Khan, Ritesh Singh, Rahul Pratap Singh, Kundan Singh, Sanjam Regmi, Bishal Shusling, Samshad Sheikh and Saurav Nagbanshi completed the rest of the 14-man squad that featured in PM Cup. APF had won the tournament by beating the other departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club in the final.