The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Sunday announced a 33-member prepiminary squad for the ACC U-19 Asia Cup slated for December 28-January 4 in the United Arab Emirates.
Region No 9 (Mahendranagar) dominated the preliminary squad that includes six players from the newly recognised region. Bhuwan Karki — who led Nepal during the ACC U-19 Elite held in Malyaisa in May — is one of the six Mahendranagar players with Dipendra Airee, Lalit Singh Bhandari, Sunil Dhamal, Yagya Man Kumal and Raju Rijal.
Lalit was the man-of-the-series during the recently held Wai Wai U-19 National Cricket Tournament and Sunil was the best batsman. The U-19 champions Region No 3 (Kathmandu) and runners-up Region No 2 (Birgunj) have five players each.
Man-of-the-final Prakash Bista ‘B’ was among the Kathmandu players picked up along with Ashsih Dhami, Bibhatsu Thapa, Som Pal Kami and Prakash Bista ‘A’. Amit Shrestha, Arif Sheikh, Ram Naresh Giri, Suraj Prasad Kurmi and Irshad Ahmed were selected from Birgunj.
Other players included Mobin Ali, Kalicharan Yadav, Somesh Yadav and Siddhant Lohani from Region No 1 (Biratnagar), Hari Shankar Sah, Rahul Pratap Singh, Gopal Singh and Abhishek Jha made the cut from Region No 7 (Janakapur). Abhishek was the best bowler of the U-19 tournament.
Dilip Nath, Yogendra Karki and Prem Tamang were shortlisted from Region No 6 (Baitadi), Sushan Bhari and Dipendra Yadav were named from Region No 4 (Bhairahawa), Aakash Bista and Amar Singh Routela made the cut from Region No 5 (Nepalgunj).
Sushil Kandel and Nischal Pandey found themselves from Region No 8 (Pokhara). Dipendra Chand and Bhim Sarki from Mahendranagar along with Ashib Poudel of Birgunj were named in reserves.
The squad was selected by a three-member National Selection Committee headed by former national team opener Musharraf Izahar. Nepal are pitted in Group ‘A’ of the Asia Cup that included Asian Test playing giants India and Pakistan along with hosts UAE.