Nepal face S’pore today

Kathmandu, August 19:

Nepal will take on Singapore in their opening match of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup cricket tournament at the Selangor Club in Malaysia on Monday.

The three-time defending champions Nepal are drawn in Group A and will play the United Arab Emirates on August 22 and Thailand the following day before meeting Oman on August 25 in their last league match. The Group B comprises of hosts Malaysia, Hong Kong, Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Nepal have qualified for the last four U-19 World Cup and are eying fifth this time. Nepal won the youth trophies in 2001 (Kathmandu), 2003 (Karachi) and 2005 (Kathmandu).

The road to the Under-19 World Cup this time, however, is complicated. With Malaysia directly placed into the final draw as the host country, the other Asian teams will not only have to win the tournament or at least enter the final along with Malaysia, but also have to beat the European runner-up team to qualify for the World Cup.

As part of their preparation the Nepali team toured Sri Lanka on August 9 where they had few net sessions and three practice matches before leaving to Malaysia. The week-long Sri Lankan tour was sponsored Sri Lanka Cricket.