Cricket Association of Nepal has proposed the International Cricket Council (ICC) to host the ICC U-19 World Cup Asia Qualifier 2021.
United Arab Emirate (UAE) were originally scheduled to host the Asia Qualifier involving six teams in Nepal, UAE, Oman, Singapore, Kuwait and Malaysia late September. But since UAE will be hosting remainder of this season’s Indian Premier League and Twenty20 World Cup, which were moved from India due to COVID-19, the ICC has been looking for an alternate venue.
CAN, in its weekly virtual meeting, proposed the ICC to host the Asia Qualifier. “We have told the ICC that we are capable of hosting the Asia Qualifier after successfully organising a number of domestic tournaments and an international event in between two lockdowns,” CAN President Chatur Bahadur Chand confirmed cricketingnepal.com.
The ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is scheduled to take place in early 2022 at the West Indies. Only one team will book tickets to the Caribbean from the Asia Qualifier for the 16-team U-19 World Cup. Bangladesh are the defending champions of U-19 World Cup.
The Asia Cup Qualifier itself was rescheduled for September due to COVID-19 situation. ICC is expected to make a call after closely monitoring the COVID-19 cases and facilities in different available countries.
The ICC is also mulling to send the qualifier from the last edition but it looks impractical and unjustly harsh on other World Cup aspirants from the region.
Chand said Nepal will be able to prepare itself in terms of facilities and speed up the work once the government also gives a go ahead. Tribhuvan University Stadium is the only international standard facility for cricket in Nepal in current situation.
“I don’t think venue should be a problem. If we get a green signal, we can also prepare the Pokhara Stadium if required so that we can have two venues,” informed Chand.
CAN was preparing to host two international tournaments at the TU grounds and Under-19 national tournament but the second wave of COVID-19 forced them to postpone all the cricketing activities.