Nepal will be playing against a youth team of India and Pakistan as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Monday made public the tie sheet of ACC Emerging Teams Cup beginning in Singapore from August 17-25.
Drawn in a tough pool, Nepal will also meet Afghanistan – whom the team have struggled to register victory for the last seven years – in Group ‘A’. ACC Emerging Teams Cup is a new programme of the regional cricket governing body to be launched this year giving opportunities to Affiliate and Associate nations to play against U-23 teams from ICC Full Members of the region.
Singapore, UAE, Sri Lanka U-23 and Bangladesh U-23 make Group ‘B’ with top two teams from each pool making it to the semi-finals after the league stage.
Nepal will begin the tournament playing against Afghanistan on the opening day. With two days of rest available for the Nepali boys, they will meet India U-23 on August 23 before closing their league campaign locking horns with Pakistan U-23 the next day.
Nepal made it to the ACC Emerging Teams Cup following their title sharing with UAE in the ACC Trophy Elite held in October last year. Nepal had brought home their first ever ACC Trophy Elite after the final match against UAE ended on a tie.
Afghanistan – who had crashed out of the semi-finals in the ACC Trophy Elite – still made it through as they have been enjoying one-day status for the last four years. Singapore play the tournament as the hosts.
Nepal are fresh from winning the ICC World Cricket League Divisio-III in Bermuda on May 5 and the Emerging Teams Cup will serve as a warm-up and a testing event for them ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier and ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Twenty20 Qualifier – which sends six teams in the Twenty20 World Cup – will be held in November at the UAE, while New Zealand are hosting 50-over World Cup Qualifier – with top two teams guaranteed a place in the 2015 World Cup – in January, 2014.