KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Nepali national cricket team has set a new target of earning One-Day status after clinching ICC World Cricket League Division 4 trophy held in Malaysia.
Nepal put up an all-round performance and won all the six matches of Division 4 to ensure promotion to Division 3. Cricketers and coach Pubudu Dassanayake not only applauded each other for the brilliant performances but also revealed their new target on their arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport on Tuesday.
"Our World Cup hope is back on track now after the victory in Malaysia. We equally have chance of playing T20 World Cup," said Captain Paras Khadka. "We have to aim for World Cup Qualifiers now. We should at least earn One-Day status reaching there," he added.
Coach Dassanayake also claimed that Nepal is a better side than any team in Division 3 and Division 2. "For me, Nepal is almost on par to teams in Division 1. Players should have this belief," said Dassanayake. "Boys had similar self belief in Malaysia and we succeeded in winning the trophy," he added.
The coach termed the Division 4 victory as a special one. "We didn´t give any opportunities to our opponents, putting up solid performance in every department. We defeated the USA twice," said Dassanayake. "However, it was nothing new for me as I was aware about the potential of these boys. The good thing is that every player stood up to their potential," he added.
Captain Khadka credited coach Dassanayake´s strategies and build-up process behind the Division 4 success. "Coach has developed a strategy to engage players in cricketing activities regularly.
He sent me to Canada. Shakti Gauchan to train with Rajasthan Royals. Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar and Anil Mandal were sent to India for training. Amri Bhattarai and Chandra Saud got chances to play in U-23 league of Sri Lanka," said Khadka. "All these international exposures brought positive changes in the team. It provided us with mental toughness and helped us believ in ourselves," he added.
Khadka said that the failure in the previous edition of Division 4 had tought a lesson to the team.
"Our batting was always good but we proved it this time," claimed Khadka. "In bowling section, our bowlers continued their dominant performances as usual," he added.
Khadka asked for change in domestic format of cricket to excell more."Sri Lankan govenment had decided to build cricket grounds in every school in 1980. They clinched World Cup 16 years later. We should learn from such examples on how they progressed despite war in their country," said Khadka. "It would be worthless to expect progress without proper investment," he added.
Coach Dassanayake said that the ACC Trophy is the next target for his team. "We want to continue the winning streak in the ACC Trophy against tough opponents like the UAE and Afghanistan.