Gauchan, Nath recalled in squad

Kathmandu, November 27

Shakti Gauchan and Dilip Nath returned to the national fold as three-member committee announced the final squad for Nepal’s seventh round matches of the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

Nepal will take on the United Arab Emirates in their final round matches of the WCL Championship at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 6 and 8. Nepal are also scheduled to play practice matches against the USA and Kenya on December 1 and December 3 before the UAE matches.

The selection committee of ICC representative Aminul Islam, national team head coach Jagat Tamatta and skipper Paras Khadka recalled Gauchan and Nath in the 14-member squad. They were not in the team that played against Hong Kong last month. The team was selected from among the 20 cricketers who were in the closed camp training.

Skipper Khadka and his deputy Gyanendra Malla along with Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar, Binod Bhandari, Sompal Kami, Sagar Pun, Arif Sheikh, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Dipendra Singh Airee and Lalit Bhandari have been retained for the matches.

However, Sushil Kandel, who was in the squad against Hong Kong, faced the axe, while Sushan Bhari and Hasim Ansari failed to impress the selectors. Kushal Bhurtel, Anil Kumar Sah, Jitendra Kumar Mukhiya and Siddhant Lohani have been named as reserve players.

Bhurtel and Sah, however, will travel to the UAE as extra players, informed national cricket team’s technical analyst Raman Shiwakoti. The team is scheduled to leave for the UAE on Wednesday.

As both Nepal and the UAE have already relegated to the ICC World Cricket League Division-II, the outcome of the matches will not make any difference in the standing of the eight-team competition. After the 12 matches, Nepal are sixth with nine points, while the UAE are at the bottom with six points. The Netherlands (18) and Papua New Guinea (16), Scotland (15), Hong Kong (14), Kenya (12) currently hold the top five positions, while Namibia (six) are seventh.

Top four teams will earn berths in the next year’s ICC World Cup Qualifiers, while bottom four teams will be relegated to the WCL Division-II.