Nepal’s participation in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-III is covered by uncertainties after the British High Commission in New Delhi delayed the visa process.
The news came just a day ahead of Nepal’s flight to New Delhi where they will catch a British Airlines flight leaving for Bermuda. Nepal are scheduled to leave for New Delhi at 1500 hrs on Tuesday. The delay could be a serious blow to Nepal’s 2015 World Cup dreams.
Nepal are currently playing the best cricket of their history winning two 50-over titles on foreign soil and on April 28 a tournament is awaiting them which sends two teams into the 2014 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers (CWCQ). Two finalists from the 10-team CWCQ will guarantee berths for the 2015 Cricket World Cup jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) General Secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel confirmed there has been delay.
“We were expecting the visas by 15 days after we applied for them on April 6. The Bermuda Cricket Board has sent us the confirmation that they have forwarded the visas. But we are yet to receive them from the British High Commission in New Delhi,” the general secretary of the cricket governing body in the country said.
Nepal are leaving for Bermuda earlier than the tournament itinerary to acclimatise themselves to the local conditions. Before the tournament kicks off, Nepal are scheduled to play a friendly match against Bermuda-XI on April 25. Pyakurel said Nepal could be on time if they receive the visa before Nepal’s flight for New Delhi on Tuesday otherwise CAN could do nothing on that.
“We have to see it on Tuesday morning and if we don’t get the visas, we have to put our New Delhi tour on hold or plan otherwise. But if we don’t get visas at all then its not in our hands,” he added. Nepal had earned the promotion to Division-III after they won the Division-IV in Malaysia – a title that followed with the ACC Trophy triumph last year.
Nepal were also the runners-up of the ACC Twenty20 Cup. Nepal open their Division-III campaign with a match against their arch rivals USA. Nepal had won the Division-IV title defeating US in the final.
Other Division-III teams are hosts Bermuda, Italy, Uganda and Oman.