Nepal in ‘good shape’ ahead of bilateral ODI series against CanadaThe series will serve as a preparation for Desai’s Nepal, who are scheduled to host the Netherlands and Namibia in the opening tri-series of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 (2023-2027).
Captain Rohit Paudel on Wednesday said Nepal are in good shape and ready for the three-match bilateral one-day international series against Canada which begins at the TU Cricket Ground on Thursday.
“We were not able to make any special preparations for the series against Canada because the senior members of the squad were busy in the recently concluded Prime Minister Cup and the junior team were in South Africa to participate in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup,” Paudel said during a pre-match press conference.
“We practiced for two days but our squad have got regular game exposure. They are fresh and set.”
“We will try to get good results.”
Nepal and Canada play their second ODI on Saturday and third and last match on Monday.
The warm-up series will serve as a preparation for Monty Desai’s side, who are scheduled to host the Netherlands and Namibia in the opening Tri-series of the second edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 (2023-2027). The League 2—which also includes Canada, Scotland, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the United States—forms part of a qualification process for the 2027 Cricket World Cup.
Canada begin their League 2 cycle against the UAE and Scotland in Dubai in March.
In the previous League 2 (2019-2023), Nepal finished third and qualified for the Cricket World Cup 2023 which was held in India.
Nepal kick off the Tri-series against Namibia on February 15, also at TU Cricket Ground.
Coach Desai has called up two separate squads for the bilateral series and League 2 Tri-Series—both under the captaincy of Paudel.
Desai will field young guns against Canada. U-19 captain Dev Khanal and Aakash Chand who had led Nepal to a one-wicket victory against Afghanistan during the Group D match at U-19 World Cup in South Africa have been included in the squad. Khanal had scored a half-century and Chand had taken a five-wicket haul against Afghanistan.
Pacer Hemant Dhami, who missed out the World Cup in South Africa due to an injury, has also been called up for the bilateral series. Pawan Saraf and Anil Sah have returned to the national squad, while Chand, Dhami and Rijan Dhakal have made their cut for the first time.
Surya Tamang, who took 30 wickets in nine games for his club Bagmati during the Prime Minister Cup, will complete the squad. Tamang has yet to make his international debut despite being selected in the national team.
Saraf, Dhakal and Tamang have also been included in the League 2 squad that mostly feature the senior cricketers.
“The Prime Minister Cup has helped the new talents to emerge. The Canada series will give opportunity to new players to showcase their talents,” said Desai.
“I believe that the series will be competitive and exciting.”
Nepal’s former coach Pubudu Dassanayake has returned to Nepal as Canada coach. Dassanayake had quit Nepal job in July, 2022 following a disappointing seven-month tenure—his second term as Nepal coach—that saw Nepal collect only nine points out of 24 on offer in the League 2, winning four, drawing one and losing seven. However, his first stint with Nepal was instrumental as he guided Nepal to their first ever World Cup (T20) in 2014.
Following the League 2 tri-series, Nepal play T20I Triangular Series against Namibia and the Netherlands, also on home ground.