Nepali team hope to go one step better
The team led by Dipendra Chand would look to erase the bitter memories of finishing second in the previous edition where Nepal — who had been a dominant force in the age group cricket among the Associate and Affiliate countries — lost to Singapore by 68 runs in the championship match at their home turf in March, 2010.
Dipendra was part of the squad when they lost the 2010 final and still nurses the wound of that defeat. “Of course the memories are bitter. But we should put the past behind and move forward. We look to erase those bitter memories by clinching the title,” said Dipendra.
Though a short two-week preparation camp has not satisfied the skipper, Dipendra is confident of his team. “Despite the training period being short, we have done our homework quite well. We have an allround team which can perform better at any stage,” added the captain, during a farewell at the National Sports Council today.
Coach Manzur Alam Khan, however, said the team would be more reliant on spinners. “I would like to say bowling will be our major strength, particularly spin. Rupesh Bastola, Aakash Bista, Shashi Bhushan Mishra and the skipper himself are good turners of the ball. They can be match winners. Jagdish Chand and Kalicharan Yadav can also impress with their medium pace,” said Manzur.
Manzur believed that he himself is under pressure to deliver as the Malaysian tour is going to be his first assignment with any Nepali national team. “Obviously there will be pressure on me but I have to take it positively and prepare myself for any challenges,” he added.
Manzur, who had worked as an assistant coach under Nepal’s former coach Roy Luke Dias, said the experience of working under the former Sri Lankan Test international has been a great asset for him. Nepal are pitted in Group ‘B’ alongside Malaysia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iran. Group ‘A’ consists of defending champions Singapore, Hong Kong, Oman and Thailand.
Nepali Team: Dipendra Chand (capt), Adil Khan (vice-captain), Jagadish Chand, Noordhoj Sen, Shashi Bhushan Mishra, Rabin Gupta, Asif Sheikh, Alfaz Mansuri, Mukunda Yadav, Kalicharan Yadav, Aakash Bista, Anup Neupane,
Rupesh Bastola, Kushal Bhurtel, Manzur Alam Khan (coach), Sanjeev Pandey (manager).
Nepal’s Group ‘B’ Fixtures
• May 4 vs Kuwait
• May 6 vs Bahrain
• May 8 vs Iran
• May 9 vs Malaysia