Nepal face hosts Namibia today

Kathmandu, February 7

Nepal will take on hosts Namibia in their opening match of the ICC World Cricket League Division-II at the WAP Ground on Thursday.

A total of six teams — also including Canada, Oman, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates — are competing in the competition. Top two teams after the round robin league will advance to the final and also secure berths in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe from March 4-25.

Nepal and Namibia — who were relegated along with Kenya and UAE after finishing as bottom four teams in the ICC World Cricket League Championship held between 2015-2017 — and they are facing each others for the first time in nearly two years.

In their previous meeting, Nepal won both the matches when they hosted Namibia at the TU Stadium in Kirtipur for the third round matches of the WCL Championship in April 2016.

Nepal beat Namibia by five wickets in the first match and registered a three-wicket victory in the second. Besides that, Nepal had also defeated Namibia by three wickets during the WCL Division-II hosted in their away match in 2015.

The Namibia event will pave way for World Cup Qualifiers, the final step for 2019 World Cup, the Nepali camp was not in mood to let the chance slip from their hands. Skipper ParasKhadka said the tournament meant a lot for Nepal. “WCL Division-II will be like a royal rumble where every team will give their best in order to seal their places for next level. Therefore, this tournament means a lot to Nepal cricket,” Khadka was quoted by the International Cricket Council. “I am hopeful that we will get through this tournament as it is a stepping stone to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier. We are excited that we are just two steps away from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019,” said Khadka.

Similarly, Namibia skipper Sarel Burger said that his side was waiting for the reward of hard work. “Qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier is only the first step, but it would be the reward for exceptional hard work for a long period of time,” Burger told ICC.

After the Namibia encounter, Nepal will play their second match against Oman on February 9 before taking on UAE two days later. Nepal will then face Kenya on February 12 and play last league round match against Canada on February 14.