Kandel, Bhandari make final cut

  • Squad for WCLC matches against Hong Kong
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 19, 2017-Left arm medium pace bowler and young spinner Sushil Kandel made sneaked into the national fold for the first time as a 14-member final squad for country’s ICC World Cricket League Championship away match against Hong Kong was announced on Monday.

Nepal take on Hong Kong on October 13 and 15 in their penultimate round matches of the WCLC where only victories can keep them alive in the hopes automatic berth in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The top four teams qualify for next year’s 50-over qualifiers, while the rest of the teams will have to wait for another chance to go through from World Cricket League Division II.

Nepal are currently in the sixth spot with eight points in the eight-team WCLC ahead of Namibia and United Arab Emirates who have four points each after the completion of six rounds. The Netherlands lead the points table with 16 points followed by Papua New Guinea (14), Scotland (13), Hong Kong (11) and Kenya (10).

Kandel had come into the squad as a replacement for veteran left-arm spinner Shakti Gauchan, who had pulled out of the camp due after suffering from piles. Kandel was named the best player of the Dhangadi Premier League Twenty20 with 13 wickets and was impressive in the Prime Minister Cup One Day National in Kathmandu picking up nine wickets.

Bhandari, who had played in the 2013 ACC U-19 Asia Cup in the UAE, was instrumental in Nepal Police Club’s progress into the final of the Prime Minister Cup. Making a comeback into the team was fast bowling allrounder Karan KC, who was out of the scene since going appendicitis operation before Nepal’s fifth round matches against Kenya in Kathmandu.

Skipper Paras Khadka will lead the squad that also includes vice-captain Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar, Basanta Regmi, Sagar Pun, Sompal Kami, Binod Bhandari, Sushan Bhari Shrestha and Aarif Sheikh. Recent ACC U-19 Eastern Region champions Dipendra Singh Airee and leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane were also retained.

While Lamichhane has already cemented his place in the national team since the fourth round WCLC home matches against Namibia, Airee made his debut against Kenya and made a half century in the second game that Nepal won by eight wickets. He then went on to play the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Bangladesh.

Emerging allrounder Kushal Bhurtel, veteran allrounder Mehboob Alam, batsman Naresh Budhayer and right-arm seamer Jitendra Mukhiya were kept as reserves. Bhurtel had made into the national team 18-member squad for the first time. The 18-member Nepali team is currently in Chennai, India, for a preparation camp for the Hong Kong game.

Nepali team will undergo training sessions and play four practice matches in Chennai during their preparation camp before returning to the country. They will play Tamil Nadu Premier League team Dindigul Dragons in the first match on Tuesday.

Nepal squad

Paras Khadka (capt), Gyanendra Malla (vice capt), Sharad Vesawkar, Basant Regmi, Sagar Pun, Sompal Kami, Binod Bhandari, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sushan Bhari, Md Arif Sheikh, Lalit Singh Bhandari, Sushil Kandel

Published: 19-09-2017 08:50

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