Preliminary squad for Hong Kong matches announced

Kathmandu, August 14

National team head coach Jagat Tamatta and skipper Paras Khadka announced a 25-member preliminary squad for the ICC World Cricket League Championship matches against Hong Kong.

Nepal will travel to Hong Kong for the sixth round matches slated for October 13 and 15 at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground in Mong Hok. The 14 players — skipper Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Sharad Vesawkar, Shakti Gauchan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mehboob Alam, Aarif Sheikh, Sagar Pun, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sunil Dhamala, Basant Regmi, Karan KC, Binod Bhandari and Sompal Kami — who were in the squad for the matches against Kenya made it into the preliminary squad.

Nepal had hosted Kenya at the Tribhuvan University Stadium in Kathmandu on March 11 and March 13. Nepal faced a five-wicket defeat in the first match but bounced back to thrash Kenya by seven wickets in the second match.

Out of the four players in the reserve list, Avinash Karn and Dilip Nath made the cut, while Rajesh Pulami Magar and Bhuwan Karki were omitted. Also, Sushil Kandel, Lalit Singh Bhandari, Bikram Sob, Saurabh Khanal, Kushal Bhurtel and Hasim Ansari, who are yet to make their debut in the national team, were also called up for the closed camp training along with Sushan Bhari, Naresh Budhayer and Jitendra Mukhiya.

Bhari recently played in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Bangladesh in March, while Budhayer played against Namibia in the third round matches of the WCL Championship in April last year. Also, Mukhiya had played his last match against Canada during the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand in 2014. According to national cricket team’s technical analyst and manager Raman Shiwakoti, date for the closed camp training will be announced later.

As the Cricket Association of Nepal is currently suspended, three-member panel — also including ICC Development Officer Raju Venkatpathy — had been selecting the national teams as per the instruction of the International Cricket Council. But only national team head coach Tamatta and skipper Khadka picked the team this time around.