Nepal ready for Papua New Guinea clashes

Kathmandu, November 3

The national cricket team today left for the UAE to play the World Cricket League Championship matches against Papua New Guinea slated for November 16 and 18.

Coach Pubudu Dassanayake said the team was ready to face PNG and the players were confident of winning both the matches. “This tournament is very important for Nepali cricket as this will decide the teams for the next World Cup,” said Dassanayake, who has resigned from the post and probably this is his last tour with the national team.

The top six teams from the eight-team WCL Championship will join the bottom four teams of the ICC One-day ranking in the main qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup. “If we can finish in top four, we will have the opportunity to be in the next WC,” said the coach.

However, the coach was not satisfied with the team selection process and handling of captain appointment. “The selectors had submitted the list six-seven days ago and for some reasons it did not come out. The team, including myself, was disturbed till yesterday night. Despite such challenges, the team is trying to put it together and go on to the field and perform,” said Dassanayake. “We are in a very crucial stage as we can end up as a ODI nation in two years or we go back to Division-III or Division-IV in couple of years. All the teams have quality players and we need to step up into that level. We cannot just perform without any support and we all have to understand and we need to work together as the team cannot move alone,” said the coach when asked about CAN’s attitude towards the team.

Skipper Paras Khadka said the team was looking forward to facing PNG. “Overall we have a good team and all the players are in good touch,” said Khadka. “We have the best of the players selected from the Super League and practice matches and we have an opportunity to pick the best XI after having a look at the players in the practice matches in the UAE,” he added.

“We have to win the matches to be on the board as we could not win matches in Scotland in the previous outing,” said Khadka, who was also not happy with the development of events in Nepali cricket. “There are certain issues as we don’t know about the status of coach’s resignation, no one knew about the team until last night and I was unsure whether I was the captain or not,” he said. “Despite all these hiccups, the team should win as Nepal cricket should go up. We are committed to the sport and we will give our 100 per cent in the field no matter what is going on off the field,” Khadka said.

Asked about the indifference of CAN towards the tour, Khadka said the authorities needed to set the priorities if they were to take Nepali cricket ahead in the days to come. “I think we are diverted a little bit from the responsibilities and we need to set priorities for better future of Nepali cricket. As a player, we are all committed to the sport and have always been giving our best on the field,” he said. “The importance of the tour will be known in one and half years as we have an opportunity to be an ODI status country,” he added. “It would be easier if the stakeholders understand the importance as it is not for me or coach or players, it is important for Nepali cricket.”

Secretary at Ministry of Youth and Sports Dipendra Nath Sharma, CAN acting president Deepak Koirala among others bade farewell to the team. In the two-week tour of the UAE, Nepal will take on against Hong Kong in a two-day match from November 5-6 and face Pakistan in their first-ever match against the Test-playing nation. Nepal will then play against local team Dundee Cricket Club and face Oman on November 14 in the run up to the WCL Championship matches against PNG.


Coach Pubudu Dassanayake proud, not sad