KATHMANDU, June 19: An 18-member Nepali U-19 cricket squad has been announced on Monday for the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup Division -1 Asia Qualifiers to be held next month in Singapore.
The selection committee comprising of ICC- Asia Chief Development Officer Venkatapathi Raju, Nepali national cricket team head coach Jagat Tamata and U-19 coach Binod Das finalized the squad. However the final squad that will include 14 players with four reserve players will be announced after few days of closed-camp training.
The Nepali squad includes Sandeep Lamichhane, Dipendra Singh Airee, Asif Sheikh, Sandip Sunar, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pawan Sarraf, Anil Kumar Saha, Kishor Mahato and Sushant Singh Thapa.
Similarly Bikram Kumar Bhusal, Prakash KC, Sandip Zora, Rajan Dhakal, Pranit Thapa Magar, Sahab Alam, Raseed Khan and Adil Khan have also cemented their places in the 18-member squad.
Coach Binod Das said that the players were selected on the basis of the performances they displayed during the one-week long first round preparation held at TU Cricket Ground.
“We had called up 40 players in the preliminary squad who were divided into three teams to play practice matches. And those selected 18 players are chosen on the basis of the performances in those practice matches during the first round preparation,” said Coach Das.
He also said that the Nepali team is trying to go to Noida (India) for final preparation within this week. “We are in discussions with both National Sports Council (NSC) and International Cricket Council (ICC) to fix the date to leave for India,” said Das, adding, “Our target is to leave within this week. Hopefully we can meet our target.”
He also informed that the closed camp will be held in Velocity Arena, an indoor cricket venue in the capital, until the team leaves for India. “We will conduct closed camp in indoor venue for couple of the days until we leave for India,” added Das.
He also informed that the final 14-member squad is likely to be announced after completing the preparation in India. “We want to take all the 18 players to India and asses all the players further before deciding the final squad,” Das concluded.
Nepal will face host Singapore, Malaysia and Afghanistan in the qualifiers to be played in double round robin league format. Team finishing on top of the league will book its place in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup to be held in New Zealand.