Rijal retained U-19 skipper

Kathmandu, December 22

A day after National Sports Council handed the responsibility of Cricket Association of Nepal, CEO Bhawana Ghimire announced the 15-member squad for the ICC U-19 World Cup, slated for January 22 to February 14 in Bangladesh.

Raju Rijal — who led the side to the World Cup berth in October — has been retained as the skipper of the team, while Aarif Sheikh is named his deputy, informed CAN in a release issued by CEO Ghimire. Refusing to recognise the recently elected executive committee under Chatur Bahadur Chand, the NSC on Monday instructed Ghimire to look after the day-to-day works and coordinate with the International Cricket Council until further notice.

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Other members in the U-19 team included Sandip Sunar, Sunil Dhamala, Dipendra Airee, Sourabh Khanal, Prem Tamang, Sushil Kandel, Dipesh Shrestha, Rajbir Singh, Yogendra Karki, Sandip Lamichhane, Himamsu Dutta, Shankar Ran and Ishan Pandey. Likewise, Kushal Bhurtel, Irsad Ahmed, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Nandan Yadav are kept in reserve list.

Nepal are in Group D along with India, New Zealand and Australia. Nepal will open the campaign with a match against New Zealand at Fatullah on January 28 and will face Australia two days later. They will wrap up the league round with a match against India in Mirpur on February 1. Nepal will also play two practice matches before the tournament — against Pakistan on January 23 and Sri Lanka two days later.

Nepal qualified for the U-19 World Cup for the seventh time when they won the global qualifiers in Malaysia in October. Nepal, who had qualified for five consecutive editions from 2000-2008 and in 2012, failed to make it to the finals in 2010 and 2014. Nepal had entered the Super League round in 2000 edition in New Zealand and won the Plate Championship in 2006.

South Africa, Bangladesh, Scotland and Namibia are in Group A, while Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Canada are in Group B. England, the West Indies, Zimbabwe and Fiji are in Group C. Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka and Sylhet will host 48 matches of the 19-day tournament, which will begin with the match between defending champions South Africa and hosts Bangladesh at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.