Prioritizing the national team’s recent run of form, the Nepalese cricket governing body is planning to send the cricketers to Sri Lanka to prepare for the Emerging Teams Cup – a starting point of Nepal’s grueling international schedule.
The two-week Sri Lankan tour, which is expected to begin on August 1, however, is not the only tour Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is planning for the national team. A probable tour to Bangladesh on September and another tour to either India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka are also on cards.
CAN general secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel told cricketingnepal.com that the Sri Lankan tour is the first thing that the cricket governing body is preparing for in order to shape the national team before two big tournaments the country is participating in.
“We are seriously considering the trip to Sri Lanka and working on to finalize it,” said Pyakurel.
“It is the first thing the team will start with from August and after the Emerging Teams Cup, a tour to Bangladesh, India and other countries could also be considered,” added the general secretary.
Nepal will begin a busy international schedule with the Emerging Teams Cup that begins in Singapore from August 17-25. After the August event, Nepal will participate in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in November and ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ) in January next year.
The U-23 teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will join Nepal, Afghanistan, UAE and Singapore in the Emerging Teams Cup but Nepal’s biggest test of their life would be the latter tournaments.
Nepal will be seeking a historic place in the ICC World Twenty20 which could only be achieved by finishing inside the top six teams in a 16-nation Qualifier in Dubai, while two big opportunities are knocking Nepal’s door in the 50-over Qualifier in New Zealand.
A place in the final of January Qualifier will give Nepal a place in their first every World Cup, while even rounding up in the top four finishes will hand the Himalayan nation a one-day status for four-years.
CAN itself is bearing all the expenses for the team’ Sri Lankan tour which could be joined by new faces apart from the national team that participated in the ICC World Cricket League Division-III in Bermuda. Pyakurel said the trip could cost three to 3.5 million rupees.
Six players are currently undergoing foreign based training and playing matches abroad. Middle order batsman Gyanendra Malla and left arm spinner Basanta Regmi are playing professional league in Canada, while batting duo of Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Airee are involved in the Sri Lankan U-23 League.
Also, former U-19 team members Rajesh Pulami and Naresh Budhayer are honing their skills in an Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) program in England.