CAN announces U-19 squad

Kathmandu, July 27:

Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) today announced the final 14 players for the ACC Under-19 Elite Cup Cricket Tournament to be held in Malaysia from August 18-29.

Paras Khadka, who is playing in his third U-19 tournament, will lead the squad named by the selection committee headed by Bijay Kumar Sharma. Sharad Vesawkar, also appearing for the third time, was named the vice captain.

The final 14 also include Gyanendra Malla, Amrit Bhattarai, Avay Rana, Mahesh Chhetry, Raj Shrestha, Sashi Keshari, Akash Gupta, Antim Thapa, Sagar Khadka, Chandra Saud, Rom Shrestha and Rahul Kumar BK, the only new face in the international squad.

While Sharad, Paras and Raj will be playing their third tournament, the tournament will be the second for Amrit, Avay, Sashi and Mahesh. Rom, Sagar, Antim and Saud were the key players in Nepal’s Under-15 victory two years ago in Dubai.

The final 14 includes six players from U-19 national champions Region Kathmandu, five from runner-up Bhairahawa and one each from Birgunj, Baitadi and Nepalgunj. The squad does not have any player from Biratnagar. Ratan Rauniyar, Dipen Shrestha, Santosh Baral and Sahid Riza are named in the reserve list.

The CAN nominated its vice president Upendra Prasad Bhattarai as the team manager. Former Sri Lankan Test player Roy Luke Dias is the coach and Jagat Bahadur Tamata his assistant.

Drawn in Group B, the three-time defending champions Nepal will play against Singapore on August 20, before taking on the United Arab Emirates (August 22), Thailand (August 23) and Oman (August 25). Nepal won the trophies in 2001 (Kathmandu), 2003 (Karachi) and 2005 (Kathmandu).

With Malaysia already in the World Cup list as the host country, the other Asian team will not only have to win the tournament or enter the final along with Malaysia, but also have to beat the European runner-up — if they challenge — in playoff to qualify for the World Cup.