CAN fete WCL Division-V champion Nepali team

KATHMANDU: Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) today felicitated the Nepali senior national cricket team for its remarkable achievement in the recently concluded Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-V tournament.

The Nepali cricket governing body gave away Rs 50,000 each to the 14-member team, who beat the United States of America (USA) in the final of the Division-V tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Saturday.

The trophy is also the first ever won by the Nepali senior team in the limited-over format of the sport.

Skipper Paras Khadka, Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, Shakti Gauchan, Mehboob Alam, Dipendra Chaudhary, Anil Mandal, Binod Das, Rahul Kumar BK, Basanta Regmi, Mahesh Chhetri, Sanjam Regmi, Binod Bhandari and Amrit Bhattarai received the cash prizes from CAN along with tracksuits from Reebok.

Coach Roy Luke Dias and assistant coach Jagat Tamata also received the same amount along with Reebok tracksuits while team manager Diwakar Ghale, who is also the member of the association, was presented with a gift hamper and a Reebok tracksuit. Skipper Khadka also handed over the WCL Division-V championship trophy to CAN President Binay Raj Pandey during the programme.

Nepal were also promoted to Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-IV tournament along with the USA. The Division-IV tournament — a second step towards the long and winding journey to the 2015 Cricket World Cup qualification — is scheduled to be held in Italy from August 14-21 later this year. Nepal and the USA join four other teams — hosts Italy, Tanzania, Cayman Islands and Argentina in the Division-IV.

“Winning the Division-V championship is a historic moment in Nepali cricket and I thank all those, especially the team, who made this possible,” said CAN President Pandey. “The victory means we have taken a step ahead in our bid to qualify for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. But to make the dream come true, we need to work a lot harder,” said Pandey adding that the regular international match exposures had helped the team to lift their standard.

Tanka Paneru, CAN General Secretary, highlighted the need of Cricket Academy to raise the standard of Nepali cricket. “What we have been doing until now is just maintaining out standard but if we are to move ahead, Academy is a must,” said Paneru.

Referring towards the disappointment of some visiting teams over the wickets during the Division-V tournament, the General Secretary of CAN also called for the need to develop proper international-standard wickets so that the home team could perform equally well abroad.

The Division-V tournament was the first silverware the Nepali senior team ever claimed since making it to the final of the ACC Trophy in Singapore in 2002. Raju Khadka led Nepal to the final but lost against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by six wickets in the final.

Raju Khadka also led Nepali senior team to the tri-nation Emerging Nations Cup victories twice in 2003. Skippered by Binod Das the Nepali senior team has also won the ACC Premier League Three-day Tournament in 2006.4

ICC to probe crowd trouble incident

KATHMANDU: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced an internal investigation into the events surrounding the Pepsi ICC World League Division-V match at the Tribhuvan University Stadium in Kathmandu during the match between Nepal and the United States of America (USA).

The February 29 last-round match — interrupted by unruly crowd behaviour for about half an hour — was won by the USA but the subsequent net run-rate calculations meant that Nepal qualified for promotion to Pepsi ICC World League Division 4 along with the USA, just ahead of Singapore, said the ICC in a release. The home team pipped Singapore, who inflicted Jersey a heavy defeat the same day, by just 0.004 in net run rate.

“The ICC will investigate firstly whether the event technical committee correctly applied and interpreted the tournament regulations and, secondly, the nature of the security breach at the ground,” the release from ICC headquarters in Dubai added. “ICC will announce the findings of the investigation in due course,” added the release. The ICC also quoted Imran Khwaja, Singapore Cricket Associationchairman, as saying: “I have spoken with the ICC and I am satisfied with the course of action that they are pursuing.”