Region-II (Birgunj) and Region-VI (Baitadi) had all their players intact for the ACC U-19 Elite as the Cricket Association of Nepal today trimmed the Nepali squad to go into the second phase of selection for the May 1-12 event to be held in Malaysia.
A total of 20 players have made cut for the second and final phase of closed-camp with Avinash Karn, Ram Naresh Giri, Suraj Kumar Kurmi, Amit Shrestha and Irshad Ahmed from Birgunj remaining in line to represent Nepal in Malaysia. Bhuwan Karki, Prem Tamang, Arjun Chapagain and Yagyaman Kumal also found their place after the preliminary round of selection that had begun on March 29.
The second round training has begun from Wednesday at the Tribhuvan University Stadium. Only 14 players will be selected for the ACC U-19 Elite. Kalicharan Yadav, Mayananda Chaudhary and Suman Shrestha of Region-I (Bhairahawa) were axed after the first round of selection. Region-III (Kathmandu) had two of their players axed in Prakash Bista ‘A’ and Prakash Bista ‘B’. Sabin Shakya, Prakash KC and Bibek Chaudhary were the Region-IV (Bhairahawa) casualties.
Amar Singh Rautela of Region-V (Nepalgunj), Sameer Nepal of Region-VII (Janakapur) were eliminated from the 32-member preliminary squad along with Anil Gurung and Dhruba Karki of Region-VIII (Pokhara). Sharad Khadka, Bibhatsu Thapa and Pawan Shrestha were picked up from Kathmandu, while Avishek Jha, Rahul Pratap Singh and Hari Shankar Shaha also made cut from Janakpur along with Sushan Bhari and Nirmal Thapa of Bhairahawa. Nischal Pandey of Pokhara, Inamuddin Halwai of Nepalgunj and Amit Dahal of Biratnagar were the only cricketers remaining from their respective regions.
The winners of the ACC U-19 Elite will make it to the ICC U-19 World Cup to be held in the UAE. With hosts already qualified for the 2014 tournament, the other finalists will book a berth for the tournament if UAE win the title. The Asian Cricket Council has already made public the group division and match schedules for the tournament.
Nepal are pooled in Group ‘B’ alongside hosts Malaysia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Group ‘A’ comprises of defending champions Afghanistan, Hong Kong, UAE, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.