Preliminary squad named

Kathmandu, January 4

The three-member selection panel headed by International Cricket Council representative Aminul Islam today called up 21 cricketers for the preliminary camp to prepare for next month’s ICC World Cricket League Division-II Tournament.

The panel retained skipper Paras Khadka and vice-captain Gyanendra Malla in the 21-member squad, while Sagar Pun and Binod Bhandari, who have been consistently out of form off late, faced the axe. Pun was dropped from the national team for the first time since making his debut in 2013, while Bhandari was not been able to perform to his potential.

Likewise, Rashid Khan and Kishor Mahato got the national team camp for the first time. Other cricketers who made the cut in top 21 included Anil Kumar Sah, Basant Regmi, Dilip Nath, Dipendra Singh Airee, Dipesh Shrestha, Gyanendra Malla, Karan KC, Lalit Bhandari, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, Md Arif Sheikh, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shakti Gauchan, Sharad Vesawkar, Siddhant Lohani, Sompal Kami, Sunil Dhamala and Sushan Bhari.

In the absence of the Cricket Association of Nepal, which remains suspended from the ICC, a separate selection committee has been picking up players. The committee also includes national team head coach Jagat Tamatta and skipper Khadka.

The bottom four teams of the WCL Championship — Nepal, Namibia, the UAE and Kenya — along with Canada and Oman will participate in the WCL Division-II slated for February 6-16 in Namibia. Top two teams of the tournament will earn berths in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.