The national U-19 team on Tuesday left for Kuwait to participate in the ACC U-19 Premier where a title triumph can bring Nepal back in the elite competition of age group cricket.
The winner of the tournament will make a direct qualification for the 2016 U-19 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh, while the second-place finisher following the round robin league will have to battle it out through the continental playoff.
Raju Rijal will lead the team who believes his team has been bolstered by the presence of rising all rounder Aarif Sheikh. Aarif recently played with the senior team in the ICC World Cricket League Division-III held in Malaysia from October 23-30.
Raju and Aarif were the part of the youth team that also participated in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup held in the UAE in December. Other players with international experience include Prem Tamang, Irshad Ahmed, Saurav Khanal and Sunil Dhamala.
Prem and Irshad played in the previous edition of the tournament – named ACC Trophy Elite and played under league-cum-knockout format – while the former also played in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup along with Rijal and Dhamala. Sauarav Khanal is making a comeback in cricket from age group after his appearance in the 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup in Australia.
Dipesh Shrestha, Saurav and Arjoon Chapagain will lead the pace attack, while Sushil Kandel, Prem, Sunil, Yogendra Karki and Dipendra Airee will lead the spinner’s march. Navin Singh is the coach, Shree Bhagat is the team physio and Dhirendra Sawad is the team manager.
Raju Rijal (captain)