KATHMANDU: Every cricket-playing country has a dream to obtain One Day International (ODI) status and play the world cup. Nepal has received ODI status two years back and its target from now onward is to play the world cup cricket tournament.
The triangular series which is an opportunity to step into the world cup is taking place at Tribhuvan University cricket ground in Kirtipur from today. Hence, today is a historical day for Nepali cricket.
This is the first time Nepal is playing the series on its home ground. Nepal is taking on Oman in the series and this is the stepping stone for Nepal to set the journey for word cup to take place in 2023.
All cricket loving Nepali people along with coaches are getting excited to take part in the seminal series. At a press conference organized at Soaltee Hotel in Kathmandu on Tuesday, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) Chair Chatur Bahadur Chand was seen elated for having the first opportunity to host series after International Cricket Council (ICC) lifted its suspension.
“We are hosting the series in a short span of time following the removal of suspension. We are heading towards a world cup journey being focused on our mission”, he said.
CAN general-secretary Ashoknath Pyakurel also echoed the expression of his chair. “This series is a litmus-test for us beside an opportunity. We have to prove our excellence from all fronts”, he noted.
Though CAN Is not aloof from challenges after the lifting of suspension, we take the series as an opportunity to face them, Pyakurel added.
CAN has put its all-out efforts to make the triangular series historical. Nepalaya has been entrusted the responsibility for ticket sale. Entry fee of Rs 200 has been determined for each tournament. Team Oman has come to play cricket in Nepal after 2012. It may be noted that Nepal has not been able to defeat Oman since 2013. Nepal is seeing a chance to outshine Oman taking advantage of home ground.
Nepal is taking on another team America on coming Saturday. The US has come Nepal after 2010. Oman captain Jisan Makshood and US captain Saurav Netravalkar have taken Nepali cricket fans as their obstacles in the series.
“Nepali cricket audience will keep us under pressure”, both the captains univocally said in the press conference.
Around 20,000 audience are expected to watch today’s match.
Nepal received the ODI status on 15 March 2018. The US team has so far played eight matches and Oman played six matches in Division-2 which is the roadmap of world cup. Nepal is beginning its journey from its home ground today. All three teams will play equal four matches in the series which will end up on 12 February.
Nepal will play second match against the US on 8 February, third match against Oman on 9 February and final match against the US on 12 February. Till date the US has topped the score list with 12 from six wins. Scotland is in second position with nine points followed by Namibia third with eight, Oman fourth with eight, UAE fifth with equal eight and Papua New Guinn sixt with zero ins core board.
Nepal team includes Gyanendra Malla as captain and Dipendra Singh Eiri vice-captain. Other team members are Paras Khadka, Sandeep Lamichhane, Karan KC, Arif Shekh, Binod Bhandari, Abinash Bohora, Kushal Malla, Kamal Singh Eiri, Sushan Bhari, Rohit Kumar Poudel, Sharad Bheswakar and Lalit Narayan Rajbamshi. Nepali team is taking on its strong contender without main bowlers, Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi and Sompal Kami.
Nepal is playing the 50-limited overs match at home ground frist time after 2017.
The three highest scorers of the league will be straightly selected in world cup qualifiers to take place in 2022. Remaining four teams will participate in play-off for world cup qualifiers. The play-off will be attended by four teams from league-2 and two from challenge league. The worl cup qualifiers will be played by 10 teams, including five from the last of super league, three from league and two from play-off.
The winner and first-runner up of the world cup qualifiers will get chance to participate in the world cup to be held in India in 2023.
The cost estimated for hosting the series is USD 85,000.
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