Nepal to be tested today

Kathmandu, May 7:

Nepali cricket team will be tested when they open first of the three one-day friendly cricket series against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Academy Team here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Thursday.

Probably the tough team Nepali side have ever encountered so far, the PCB team is coached by former Pakistani International Ijaz Ahmed. The Pakistani team flew in from Dhaka here after winning a triangular one-day series against academy teams of South Africa and hosts Bangladesh.

Khalid Latif, who made his one-day international debut for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in January, will lead the side that also include four other Pakistani internationals. Fawad Alam played six ODIs and Sohail Khan have three for Pakistan.

The PCB Academy team also include five players who were part of the U-19 World Cup-2008. Syed Imad Wasim led the U-19 team in the World Cup where they lost to South Africa in the semi-finals. Others from the U-19 squads are Mohammad Aamer, Adil Raza, Ahmed Shehzad and Ali Asad.

Speaking at a programme here today, coach Ahmed wished the Nepali side to do best against his team. Ahmed, who played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs for Pakistan, said he was happy to help the Nepali cricket.

Manager of the PCB Academy team Syed Azhar Hussain Zaidi said that recent display of Nepali team has shown that they are upcoming cricketing nation. Hoping the friendly series to be of high quality, Zaidi said the matches will provide an international exposure to young players of both the teams. Nepal’s Sri Lankan coach Roy Luke Dias said the visiting team was very strong and it would be a good exposure for Nepali team.

President of Cricket Association on Nepal Binay Raj Pandey, general secretary Tanka Paneru, PCB Academy team captain Khalid Latif among others were present on the occasion.