Women cricketers off to Thailand with high spirit

Kathmandu, November 23

Nepali women’s national cricket team members today left for Thailand to take part in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup to be held at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok from November 26 to December 4.

Nepal will face Pakistan in their first match on opening day and face Sri Lanka two days later.

They will meet Bangladesh on November 29 and Thailand on December 1 before playing against India to wrap up the campaign.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the Test playing nations, while hosts Thailand and Nepal are associates.

However, the Nepali team was confident of producing good results and said that they were well prepared for the high-profile tournament. “We had a good preparation for the competition despite having a short training period.

We made the full use of the training and also played practice matches against men’s teams,” said skipper Rubina Chhetri.

“We put 110 to 140 runs on board while facing the men’s team and the match scenario sessions were morale booster for every individual of the team. We are also confident for producing a couple of upset results,” added Chhetri.

“The success in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier for Asia Region also made us confident and we want to keep the momentum going in Thailand,” she added.

Nepal finished runners up in the qualifiers held in Hong Kong last month and booked a place in the Asia Cup. This is one of the biggest tournaments that Nepal are playing as they will get opportunity to face top teams of the world.

“Except for Thailand, other teams are of top level but we are eyeing upsets in the competition. If we beat Thailand and one of the Test playing nations, we will achieve our target,” said coach Raju Basnyat, who was satisfied with the training of the team.

“We trained for more than 40 days for the qualifiers and played six international matches in Hong Kong. We also played nine practice matches against boy’s teams. So, the team is in a good shape.

The only thing we lack is that all-rounder Nirmala Shahi is not in the team due to groin injury,” he added.

Shahi was in Nepali squad in the Hong Kong’s qualifier and took eight wickets in six matches and also scored 93 runs. She scored highest 36 runs and also bagged three wickets against Thailand although Nepal lost the match by three wickets.

Nepal team comprises of Rubina Chhetri (captain), Jyoti Pandey, Karuna Bhandari, Neera Rajopadhyay, Roshani Bohara, Sangita Rai, Sarita Magar, Sobha Aale, Indu Barma, Kajal Shrestha, Nary Thapa, Rashmi Sharma Chaulagain, Sabnam Rai, Saraswati Kumari Chaudhary and Sita Rana Magar.

Coach Basnyat, manager Asmita Gurung and technical analyst Raman Shiwakoti accompanied the players to Bangkok. National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista bade farewell to the team.

“We can beat teams like India if we play with high confidence,” said Bista during the programme.

Coach Basnyat cleared

KATHMANDU: National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista on Wednesday said that Nepali women’s national cricket team coach Raju Basnyat was not involved in any incident related to sexual harassment against the team members.

Bista said so during a farewell programme of the women’s team that left for Thailand to take part in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup.

Basnyat had been accused that he sexually abused some of the women cricketers of the team during the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier for Asia Region held in Hong Kong last month.

“The accusation was baseless and Basnyat was innocent,” said Bista. He also warned members of the team that they should not be involved any activities that will destroy one’s personal life and self-esteem.

“If found involved in such incident they will no longer be in the team. We don’t want to hear any rumours like Hong Kong this time,” Bista said.