Injured Vesawkar left out
- Preliminary squad: asia cup qualifiers
Aug 10, 2018-Barring injured batsman Sharad Vesawkar and now-retired spinner Shakti Gauchan, Nepal on Thursday retained the squad that featured in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series against the hosts Netherlands for the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
The selection panel headed by coach Jagat Tamatta and skipper Paras Khadka announced a 19-member preliminary squad for the August 29-September tournament in Malaysia. Of the 15-member Nepali squad who returned home after levelling their first ODI series 1-1 against the Dutch on August 3, only Vesawkar missed out after sustaining little finger fracture.
The versatile allrounder picked up the injury during the historic first ODI against the Dutch at the VRA Ground in Amstelveen on August 1, which Nepal lost by 55 runs. He did not play in Nepal’s thrilling one-run win in the series-levelling win two days later due to the injury. He was left out for the Qualifiers as the injury requires at least four weeks to heal, informed team manager and technical analysts of the national squad. Gauchan, 35, had already announced his retirement from international cricket saying the Netherlands tour would be his final for the national team and so was not considered for the Qualifiers.
Anil Kumar Sah, Basant Regmi, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gyanendra Malla, Karan KC, Lalit Bhandari, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Arif Sheikh, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sompal Kami and Subash Khakurel all retained their place in the team. Binod Bhandari, Pradeep Airee, Kishor Mahato, Sagar Pun, Sunil Dhamala and Sushan Bhari broke into the preliminary squad which will be cut down to 15 in due course after a closed camp training which commences from August 14.
ACC has appointed Apurva Subodh Desai as a batting consultant for the Qualifier and link up with the squad from August 14, informed Shiwakoti. The Nepali team is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka as part of their preparations before embarking on the Qualifiers. Apart from training, Nepal will play three warm-up matches with the local teams in Sri Lanka.
The Qualifiers feature six teams with only the champions ensured a ticket to the tournament proper, which is scheduled for September 15-28 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The champions will play against world cricket giants India and Pakistan in Group ‘A’. Group ‘B’ includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The Qualifiers will be played over round-robin league format with the top two teams playing in the final. Apart from Nepal, Hong Kong, hosts Malaysia, Oman, Singapore and the UAE are in fray to earn ticket to Asia Cup. In Malaysia, Nepal will open their campaign with a match against Oman on August 29 before taking on the UAE the very next day.
The Nepali team take on the hosts Malaysia on September 1, Singapore the very next day before concluding their league fixtures with a game against Hong Kong. The final is on September 6.
Paras Khadka, Anil Kumar Sah, Basant Regmi, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gyanendra Malla, Karan KC, Lalit Bhandari, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Arif Sheikh, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sompal Kami, Subash Khakurel, Binod Bhandari, Pradeep Airee, Kishor Mahato, Sagar Pun, Sunil Dhamala, Sushan Bhari
Published: 10-08-2018 09:15