U19 cricket team to train in India

Published On: June 18, 2017 03:00 AM NPT By: Prabin Bikram Katwal  | @prabinLFC

KATHMANDU, June 17: Nepal national U19 cricket team is set to travel to India to make preparations for the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup Division -1 Asia Qualifiers to be held next month in Singapore.

 Coach Binod Das informed to Republica that the national U19 team planned to spend 15-20 days in Noida of India for the preparations after considering that the monsoon might affect their training at home. 

The qualifiers to be played in double round robin league format will feature host Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia and Afghanistan. Team at top of the league will book its place in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

Since a 40-member preliminary squad is training at the TU Cricket Ground since six days and the team will leave for India once the final squad is announced, Das informed. 
The preliminary squad will be cut down to final 14-member squad by the selection committee led by Venkatapathi  Raju, who is the chief development officer of ICC-Asia. The committee also includes Nepal’s senior team head coach Jagat Tamatta and U19 coach Das.  

“As monsoon has already started in country, our preparations may have been affected so we have made plans to train in Noida,” said Das, “We expect our training won’t be halted there given the late entry of monsoon. Once the squad is finalized and International Cricket Council (ICC) fixes the travel date, we will leave,” he said. 

Das informed that Nepali team will play friendly matches with the local teams that will include state level players. 

Das, who is also the former captain of the senior national side, said that the qualifying campaign will be tough adding Nepal will probably have poor preparations compared to other participating nations.

 “Our players don’t get chance to play enough cricket. After returning from ACC U-19 Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka in December, our players got chance to play just two tournaments including Dhangadhi Premier League and Prime Minister Cup, which is not enough,” said Das.

“Afghanistan team has a good cricket atmosphere at the domestic level and they get chance to play for the whole year which makes a lot of difference. Afghani squad was finalized a month ago and trained in India for one month after that,” added Das, 
“Similarly, Malaysia and Singapore have been preparing for this tournament since long time unlike us. So most probably Nepal will have poor preparation among the participating nations.” 

“Talent level of players of all the participating teams is similar but what makes difference is the amount of preparations they have done,” further added Das. 

While acknowledging the shortcomings in terms of preparations, coach Das expressed confidence that the team will secure its place in the world cup by topping the qualifying group. “We don’t have any option other than to top the group and qualify for the world cup,” said Das. 

Currently Das is focused on assessing the performance of players participating in the preliminary squad which is divided into three teams. “Our aim is to give all the players equal chances to impress the selection committee, each team plays one 50 over match in a day,” added Das. 

Although the TU Cricket Ground’s wicket is wet to prevent the batsmen from making big runs in the training, Das said the preparation is going satisfactory. “Bowling is our strength but batting has been concern. Batsmen are not able to make big runs due to the poor wicket at the TU Cricket Ground but we will work on it once we start specific training sessions,” Das said while elaborating on the selection process. 

Nepal will kick off the qualifying campaign facing hosts Singapore on July 17 and 21. Similarly, Nepal will take on Malaysia on July 18 and 24. In other fixtures Nepal and Afghanistan will compete on July 20 and 25.

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