Nepal take on Malaysia today

uala Lumpur, May 25 :

Malaysia will bank on home advantage as the fourth ACC Under-15 Cup (Elite Group) gets underway in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Drawn in Group ‘A’ alongside defending champions Nepal, Hong Kong and Singapore, the young Malaysians take to the field backed by reasonable international exposure compared to some of their opponents.

However, the opening match against Nepal at Kelab Aman will decide how far the Malaysians can go in the tournament.

“Nothing seems to be going right for Nepal this year,” said Nepal coach Roy Luke Dias. “There have been a lot of problems in Nepal and it was not possible to select players from the National League. We asked the six regions to send us their top players and from there we short-listed 14 for this tournament. Normally, we train the players for two months. All the teams in Group A are strong and we must be prepared,” he added.

India won the inaugural tournament in 2000 while Pakistan emerged champions in 2002. Nepal defeated Afghanistan by six wickets in the final of the last edition in Dubai.

However, the four Asian Test-playing nations — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan — will no longer feature in this tournament.

Malaysian team manager Mohd Harith Mohd Shariff was confident of a good showing from his boys this time around as playing on home turf would be an added advantage.

ACC Trophy 2006 draw released

KUALA LUMPUR: The draw for the ACC Trophy 2006 was finalised at the ACC Secretariat here on Tuesday. Nepal was drawn against Kuwait, Bhutan, Hong Kong and Myanmar in Group ‘C’. Group ‘A’ Comprises UAE, Saudi Arabia Brunei and Malaysia while Group ‘B’ includes Oman, Maldives, Bahrain and Singapore. Qatar, Afghanistan, Iran, Thailand, and Indonesia are drawn in Group ‘D’. — Agencies