CAN announces squad for ICC Under-19 World Cup

Kathmandu, January 1:

Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) today named the 15-member squad for the ICC Under-19 World Cup to be held in Malaysia from February 10.

Paras Khadka, who led Nepal to the ACC U-19 Elite Cup Cricket Tournament trophy in Malaysia from August 18-29, was again entrusted to lead the side, while Gyanendra Malla was named his deputy. Nepal qualified for the U-19 World Cup winning the U-19 trophies in 2001 (Kathmandu), 2003 (Karachi) and 2005 (Kathmandu). In the 2000 edition of the tournament, Nepal qualified as the runner-up to Bangladesh.

Other members of the squad — selected by the National Selection Committee under Bijay Kumar Sharma from the 18-member squad that was under closed camp in Kathmandu — are Mahesh Kumar Chhetry (wicketkeeper), Raj Shrestha, Amrit Bhattarai, Avay Rana, Akash Kumar Gupta, Sagar Khadka, Antim Thapa, Rom Shrestha, Chandra Saud, Rahul Kumar BK, Anil Kumar Mandal, Puspa Thapa and Subash Pradhan. Sunam Gautam, Santosh Baral and Nirmal Simangaida were named as reserves.

Skipper Khadka will be playing in his third straight World Cup, while the tournament will be second for Gyanendra, Mahesh, Raj, Amrit and Avay. Anil, Puspa and Subash are the only rookies in the side.

Nepal — playing in the fifth consecutive World Cup since 2000 — are drawn in Group C along with Australia, Sri Lanka and Namibia in the 16-team tournament. Nepal will open their campaign with a match against Sri Lanka on February 18.

Group A comprises of Pakistan, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Malaysia, who enjoyed the direct qualification as the host country after being defeated by Nepal in earlier three qualifiers. India, West Indies, South Africa and Papua New Guinea are in Group B. The Group D consists of England, Bangladesh, Bermuda and Ireland.

The Nepali team is scheduled to tour Bangladesh for three practice matches against the Bangladeshi Under-19 side starting on January 22.