KATHMANDU, September 7: Nepal U-19 Cricket team head coach Binod Das has expressed hope to improve batting performance in the ACC U-19 Eastern Region Cricket Tournament scheduled to begin Friday in Malaysia.
Due to poor batting in the ICC U-19 World Cup Division-1 Asia Qualifiers in July, Nepal had missed out on the chance to qualify for the youth world cup to be held in New Zealand next year.
Batsmen failing to stroke enough runs saw Nepal finishing behind the Afghanistan in the qualifiers held in Singapore which dented Nepal's hope of securing its berth in world cup.
However head coach Das says his team has worked hard to improve in that area to make sure that there won't be repetition of batting woe again. “We know we can't afford making the same mistakes again. We have worked specifically in the batting during our closed camp, so hopefully this time our batsmen will make good runs,” Das told Republica before flying to Malaysia. Nepali team is leaving on Friday.
Nepal will begin the tournament taking on Thailand at the Club Aman cricket ground on Monday. Nepali team which is pitted in the Group A will face Singapore and Bhutan on September 13 and 14 respectively.
Likewise the group B consist host Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Myanmar. Finalists from this tournament will secure their places in the Asia Cup which also will be held in Malaysia later this year.
“In the last 10 days of our closed camp, team's focus was solely on batting. We trained the batsmen giving them different circumstances in order to make them ready,” added Das. “The support from batting consultant Monty Desai also was fruitful to polish our batsmen's batting skills.”
The former Rajasthan Royals coach Monty Desai coached Nepali players for 10 days during the closed camp. “Batsmen have to opt for different approaches according to the situation. With Desai our players learned such approaches,” further added Das.
The former national skipper Das said that the tournament was going to be fresh start for his players. “What we did in world cup qualifier is past, now this tournament will be fresh start,” said Das.
He also said his team's target was to win the tournament. “Our primary target is to win this tournament but will be taking match by match approach,” said Das. “Singapore and Malaysia will be toughest opponents among all, but we know them so we will make our plan on that basis.”
Das also said that facing Bhutan in the first match will be an opportunity for his team to make decent start in the tournament.
When asked about the change in captain, Das said it was just to grow the leadership in the team. Sandeep Lamichhane was skipper of Nepali team during world cup qualifiers but now Dipendra Singh Airee has replaced him. “Both Sandeep and Dipendra are members of the senior team and also leaders of this side. We changed their role to grow leadership in the team,” clarified Das.