Former U-19 national team skipper Prithu Baskota was named the leader in absence of Paras Khadka as the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Thursday announced a 14-member squad to participate in the 31st All India Uttarakhand Gold Cup Cricket to begin in Dehradun from May 26.
Apart from Prithu, five other national cricketers who were the part of the team that won the ICC World Cricket League Division-III title in Bermuda on May were the part of the squad unveiled today. Former national team skipper Binod Das is the coach of the team.
Openers Anil Mandal and Pradeep Airee, middle order batsman Binod Bhandari, left arm spinner Shakti Gauhan and seamer Chandra Saud are amongst the Division-III winners.
Eight of the national team members, including skipper Paras, from the Division-III squad will not leave for Dehradun.
Paras — along with his deputy Gyanendra Malla and left arm spinner Basanta Regmi — is not leaving with the team for Dehradun on Friday as the trio is in the process to play professional cricket in Canada.
Paras currently is also suffering from a strain in his right shoulder. Other team members from Division-III title winning squad — Rahul Kumar BK, Sharad Vesawkar and Subash Khakurel — are nursing injuries, while the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) didn’t pick up Amrit Bhattarai and Sanjam Regmi.
“The team to leave for Dehradun have been formed following the recommendation with coach Pubudu Dassanayake,” said CAN general secretary Ashok Nathay Pyakurel during a press meet on Thursday. “We have selected the names to give opportunites to youngsters,” added the general secretary.
The Dehradun visiting team also includes three seamers in Ram Naresh Giri, Yagya Man Kumal and Avinash Karn, while Mahendra Chand will stand behind the wickets in Subash’s absence.
Mahendra had made his debut from last year’s 50-over and Twenty20 National Cricket Tournament. U-19 skipper Bhuwan Karki who led the team in Malaysia this month for the ACC U-19 Elite along with middle order batsman Rajesh Pulami, Naresh Budhayer and Sagar Pun are the other memebers of the team.
Naresh — who opened the innings for Nepal in last year’s ICC U-19 World Cup — had visited Bermuda with the national team as a reserve player. The team will leave on Friday for Dhangadhi in a flight before catching a bus to Dehradun.
Pitted in Group ‘B’, Nepal will play against ONGC Ltd, Air India and KGK Jaipur Railway.