Four changes in Nepali squadAasif Sheikh was named the skipper as a 15-member final Nepal squad was announced on Tuesday for the ACC U-19 Asia Cup to be held in Dhaka and Chittagong from September 29 to October 7.
Aasif Sheikh was named the skipper as a 15-member final Nepal squad was announced on Tuesday for the ACC U-19 Asia Cup to be held in Dhaka and Chittagong from September 29 to October 7.
The Independent Selection Committee headed by the Under-19 head coach Binod Das, Sunoj Bhattarai and Raju Khadka made four changes to the team bringing in national team’s rising cricketer Rohit Kumar Paudel, Rabindra Jung Shahi, Nandan Yadav and Surya Tamang. Paudel was release from the national team to join the Nepali U-19 team.
Rest of the squad who played in the recently concluded Quadrangular Under-19 One Day Cricket Series in Lucknow, India, were retained for the event. Sheikh will lead the squad that also includes Kamal Singh Airee, Ravi Shah, Rit Gautam, Pawan Sarraf, Rashid Khan, Bhim Sharki, Trit Raj Das, Sandeep Zora, Sagar Dhakal and Arun Airee.
Samsad Alam, Kishor Mahato, Bipin Rawal and Lokesh Bam faced the axe from the squad that played the Quadrangular tournament in India.
Sarraf and Dhakal were the key performers for Nepal in the Quadrangular Series with the former shining with both bat and ball. Nepal had ended their seven-year win drought against Afghanistan in U-19 cricket after defeating the age group archrivals in the league stage. They, however, went on to lose the third place playoff of the Series won by the second string Indian team.
Nepal are drawn in Group ‘A’ of the U-19 Asia Cup where they will lock horns with Afghanistan, India and the United Arab Emirates. Group ‘B’ consists of hosts Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. Nepal had qualified for the U-19 Asia Cup after claiming the ACC U-19 Eastern Region title.
The current Nepali squad is eyeing to emulate last year’s achievement in Malaysia where the team had qualified for their first ever semi-finals of the tournament. The historic achievement was made possible after they beat India for their one and only victory so far over the cricketing giants in their history.
The top two teams after the round robin league will make it to the semi-finals. Nepal will play their first match of the U-19 Asia Cup against India on the opening day before meeting Afghanistan on October 1. They will then wrap up the league campaign with a clash against the UAE on October 2. Afghanistan are the defending champions.
The recently retired veteran spinner Shakti Gauchan will accompany the Nepali team to the Dubai as the team manager. Former national team wicket keeper Manoj Katwal is the assistant coach and Vikram Neupane is the physiotherapist.
Asif Sheikh (capt), Kamal Singh Airee (Vice-capt), Rohit Kumar Paudel, Ravi Shah, Nandan Yadav, Rit Gautam, Pawan Sarraf, Rabindra Jung Shahi, Rasid Khan, Bhim Sharki, Trit Raj Das, Sandeep Zora, Sagar Dhakal, Arun Airee, Surya Tamang