KATHMANDU: National team fast bowlers Chandra Saud and Amrit Bhattarai have earned a call from Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club (SLPACC) to play this season’s Sri Lanka U-23 Inter-club Cricket League which will begin from June 8.
The seamers — who are expected to leave for Colombo next week — were called by the club following a recommendation from national team coach Pubudu Dassanayake. Dassanayake had asked the pacemen along with batsmen Gyanendra Malla and Amrit Bhattarai to be prepared for the Sri Lanka tour during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in March.
Dassanayake said the participation of Gyanendra and Anil in the U-23 league will be confirmed inside three days. “I have been in talks with two other clubs to include Gyanendra and Anil in the squad and they will probably send me the confirmation in the next three days,” the coach said today.
Dassanayake informed that Chandra and Amrit’s inclusion with SLPACC came earlier because the club itself was in hunt of fast bowlers. “The club head coach Sajith Fernando told me that his club was short of fast bowlers. So, I requested Sajith to include Chandra and Amrit in the squad,” said Dassanayake.
Fernando is a friend of Dassanayake who played with the same club during their heydays. The Sri-Lanka born Canadian had also recommended national team skipper Paras Khadka for the Canadian first division league with Ontario Cricket Academy and Club.
The SLPACC will arrange the accomodation while the players will have to manage the air fares and fooding expenses on their own. Dassanayake said: “We have been in talks with few sponsors to arrange for their air fares and fooding expenses. We will get the final decision from them very soon.”
Crediting coach for the call-up, an ecstatic Chandra said his call was a result of his hard work. “I was running out of form until the coach gave me a chance to prove myself in the World Twenty20 Qualifiers. I justified my selection for the Qualifiers with my hard work. The SLPACC call-up is the result of that,” said Chandra. The 23-year old fast bowler from Mahendranagar had taken 12 wickets in the Qualifiers to make a dream debut from the senior side.
Amrit had more reasons to celebrate. “I was going through a bad patch after I could play only one match in the Qualifiers. I was actually waiting for another domestic tournament to start. When I was informed about my selection for the Sri Lankan League, it felt like I got something more than I had expected,” the left arm bowler from Bhairahawa told The Himalayan Times.
“To get a chance to play a tournament organised by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board under circumstances where Nepal is organising very few domestic cricket, is in fact a matter of pride for me,” added Amrit, who made his international debut along with Chandra from same tournament — the 2005 ACC U-15 Elite Cup in Dubai.
Coach Dassanayake said Nepali cricket can take a huge advantage with the two players’ inclusion. “Most importantly, if they perform better, they can get a chance every other season and it will help open gates for other players as well,” he said.