Sarraf, Sharki in for preliminary squad

  • Nepal’s tour of UAE
- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Jan 1, 2019-

Allrounder Pawan Sarraf along with medium pacer Avinash Bohora and middle order batsmen Sandeep Jora and Bhim Sharki were called up in the 20-member preliminary squad for Nepal’s upcoming One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International Series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday.

The four youngsters had performed well in a recently concluded Everest Premier League (EPL) and Pokhara Premier League (PPL) Twenty20 tournaments and will now prepare for a fight against some of the settled names to sneak into the national team. Nepal are playing away to the UAE in a three-match ODI series which will be followed by another three-match Twenty20 International Series beginning from January 25 to February 3. 

Sarraf, who filled in the void left by teen-aged leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane for champions Lalitpur Patriots in the EPL, was a revelation finishing as EPL’s second highest wicket taker with 11 scalps to his name. He also proved himself handy with the bat at the middle order. Sharki had struck two half centuries in the PPL and looked promising for Chitwan Tigers in the EPL. 

While Bohora bowled his heart out at the death overs for EPL runners-up Gladiators and took nine wickets, Jora played role of a finisher with crucial cameos for Patriots. Anil Sah, the opener who played Nepal’s last three crucial tournaments in ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia, ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and ACC Asia Cup Qualifier in Malaysia, paid the price for his poor showing in recent domestic tournaments and was ignored.

Also making it into the 20-member squad right-arm fast bowler Bikram Sob and left-arm spinner Sushan Bhari Shrestha who had a good run with Pokhara Rhinos despite their team failing to win even a single match in the EPL. The selected players will now undergo closed-camp training at the TU Stadium beginning from January 8 before a final selection will be made. 

Other’s making the cut for the preliminary squad were skipper Paras Khadka, Basanta Regmi, Binod Bhandari, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gyanendra Malla, Karan KC, Lalit Singh Bhandari, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Aarif Sheikh, Pradeep Airee, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Lamichhane, Sharad Vesawkar and Sompal Kami. Fast-bowling allrounder Kami featured in only two matches for the Kathmandu Kings XI and will now face race against time to prove his fitness for the UAE series.

The players were picked up by a three-member Independent Selection Committee headed by national team coach Jagat Tamatta, ICC Representative Aminul Islam and Khadka. Nepal will being their series with the first one-dayer on January 25. The Twenty20 series will begin from January 31. All the matches of the tournament will be played in the UAE with the venue yet to be decided. 

The UAE series is Nepal’s second bilateral fixture after the country achieved the ODI status through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in March last year. They had begun their journey as an ODI nation with a two-match series against the Netherlands on August 1 and 3. 

That series had ended in a 1-1 draw with Nepal registering their first ever ODI victory in the second match. Their next ODI was also against the UAE during the Asia Cup Qualifier.

Published: 01-01-2019 08:40

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