Nepal play against Hong Kong today

KATHMANDU: Nepal will open the ACC -16 Elite Cup campaign with a match against Hong Kong here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Monday.

The hosts, who have won all age-group category ACC tournaments, will be looking to add one more trophy in their cabinet. Nepal have won the ACC U-19 Elite Cup four times while ACC U-17 Elite Cup and U-15 Elite Cup once each. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is organising the U-16 tournament for the first time after scrapping the previously held U-17 and U-15 events. The ACC made the decision after frequent controversies surfaced time and again over age verification of the cricketers.

Nepal will play Kuwait in their next Group B match at the same venue on Tuesday before rouding up their league match with Bahrain at the Birendra Sainik Awasiya Mahavidhyalaya grounds in Bhaktapur. The Group A comprises of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. The fixtures was rescheduled after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar pulled out of the tournament after failing to field three nationals in their team.

The ACC has made it mandatory for a team to field three nationals in their team from this event unlike in the past where players need just two nationals. "ACC is considering to increase the number to four nationals from the next event," said Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President Binay Raj Pandey.

The tournament is remarkable in the sense that the asian cricket governing body has entrusted Nepal with great trust. ACC has selected 15 Nepali out of the 17-member technical committee of the tournament. Umpires MV Ramesh of Singapore and Upul Kaluhetti of Thailand are the only two members of the committee who are non-Nepalis. "It's an hounour for us to have earned such a trust from the ACC," said CAN President Pandey.

Pandey also appealed spectators to behave well during the tournament. "If the message goes around the world that we are incapable to host an international event on our own, we will lose the credibility we have earned with years of hard work," said Pandey. "Win and loss is part of the game. So, we want the spectators to enjoy the game,"added the CAN President.

SQUAD: Switchin Shah (capt), Nischal Pandey (vice-cap), Dipendra Chand, Jagadish Chand, Bibek Chaudhary, Hari Chaulagain, Sharad Khadka, Rajiv Kumar Shah, Devendra Somare, Satish Bhagat, Mayananda Chaudhary, Sanam Shrestha, Sushan Bhari Shrestha, Roshan Khatri.

ACC U-16 Elite Cup fixtures

Group A : Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia

Group B: Kuwait, Nepal, Bahrain, Hong Kong

Date TU Stadium Pulchowk BSAM

Mar 8 Nepal-Hong Kong Kuwait-Bahrain Singapore-Malaysia

Mar 9 Kuwait-Nepal Thailand-Saudi Arabia Bahrain-Hong Kong

Mar 11 Singapore-Thailand Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Nepal-Bahrain

Mar 12 Kuwait-Hong Kong Malaysia-Thailand Singapore-Saudi Arabia

Mar 14 SF1 (A1-B2) SF2 (A2-B1) 7 & 8 (A4-B4)

Mar 15 5 & 6 (A3-B3) 3 & 4 (losers of SF1-SF2)

Mar 16 FINAL