Nepal national cricket team is all set to meet Kurunegala Combine XI in Sri Lanka on Sunday at Kurunegala. Nepal cricket team who is on preparation for ICC World Cricket League Division II will make its return to First Class cricket after nine years.
As International Cricket Council (ICC) gave recognition of First Class Cricket, Nepal will be wearing white jersey for the first time after 2005.
Nepal has played four First Class matches till the date under ICC Inter-Continental Cup in 2005. Out of four matches Nepal played one one each against Hong Kong and Malaysia while played two matches against United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In the longer version of the game Nepal played their last match against UAE at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur back in the year 2005 where Nepal defeated UAE by a huge margin of 172 runs.
Left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan, all-rounder Meheboob Alam and middle order batsman Sharad Vesawkar were the members who played against UAE in the match. Apart from them skipper Paras Khadka is the only player who has played First Class cricket. Paras debuted for national team in First Class cricket during ICC Inter-continental cup against Malaysia.
“This tournament will give a moral boost to our players. I made a debut in three days match against Malaysia. I know this will give a real test of temperament of players, i.e. bowlers, batsman and fielder. I have learnt a lot from the single game on my debut,” says the skipper.
Captain Paras further added “If we aim to go to the higher level of cricket we need to play 2-days or 3-days games so that it will help to develop our temperament and skills in every department of game.”
Nepal will also meet Hong Kong in their first ever bilateral T20 International series after ICC handed Nepal with T20 International status. This will also be Nepal’s first T20 International games after playing ICC T20 World Cup in last March held at Bangladesh.
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake considers the T20 series against Hong Kong as an important tournament but also believes that two three-day match will also be important for them and wants to make a full utilization of it.
“I have taken this tournament as a bonus for us. This tournament will give an opportunity to youth players and senior players to sharp their skills. Sri Lanka squad is going to be a very tough team so all the players will be tested a lot especially youth will get much needed exposure in the game. Our first target will be to play the entire three days,” added the Coach.
Nepal is in the tour of Sri Lanka under the High Performance Program of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) as the preparation of World Cricket League Division II to be held in Namibia from January 17-24 where they will meet the Netherlands, Uganda, Kenya, Canada and the host country Namibia.
Nepal got promotion to Division II after defeating Uganda in the final of World Cricket League Division III held in Malaysia last month.