Cricketers come home victoriousThe national cricket team returned to heroes’ welcome on Friday following their triumphant ICC World Cricket League Division III campaign in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The team received a warm welcome from a sizeable number of supporters who had thronged the Tribhuvan International Airport two hours before the arrival time. Officials from the Youth and Sports Ministry, National Sports Council and Cricket Association of Nepal welcomed the cricketers before they were escorted to the team hotel. Coach Pubudu Dassanayake and skipper Paras Khadka said they would now want professional management to lift the team beyond Division II.
After confirming their Division II status following a first-place finish in the league stage in Kuala Lumpur, Nepal defeated Uganda by 62 runs in the final on Thursday to defend the title. Both Nepal and Uganda were relegated to Division III after their disappointing bottom place finishes in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand earlier this year. International Cricket Council Chairman N Srinivasan on Friday congratulated Nepal and Uganda for their promotion to Division II. “The two finalists competed consistently over the past week, and deserve to be promoted. Their performances demonstrate the strong standard and depth of cricket in Associate and Affiliate countries,” said Srinivasan in an ICC release.
“Nepal and Uganda now progress to ICC World Cricket League Division II, which is the final step in the qualification pathway to the ICC Intercontinental Cup, as well as the 50-over ICC World Cricket League Championship. Following the recent decision to provide Associate and Affiliate Members a clear pathway to Test cricket through the ICC Intercontinental Cup, these two teams are taking the next step on that pathway towards Test cricket, and I wish them well,” he said.
Khadka said: “We need to take care of the facilities that the Division I teams enjoy. If our team is provided with a technical analyst, bowling and batting coaches as well as other supporting staff, it surely will do better for the Nepali cricket.”