Sanjay Gautam Writer/ Cricket Enthusiast
Six Asian’ s top associate Nation including Nepal will taste their fortune from this week (Aug 29 to Sep 6) in Malaysia who itself is the participant as well as host to unlock the lone ticket through the UAE for the Asia cup ( 15 to 29 Sep ),which is just beginning after one week of conclusion of qualifier.
This won’t be first time for Nepal competing in ACC tournament to get the ticket through the Asia Cup as Nepal has previously participated in ACC trophy in 2000 and 2006 in UAE and Malaysia respectively. Nepal shut the door for themselves just one step ahead of qualifying in Prestigious tournament of Asian giant as both occasion they were knocked out in the semi final. This time Paras khadka and Co will definitely look to sort out the unfinished job , and qualify for their maiden Asia cup.
Nepal will compete with like of UAE and Hong Kong who will be among the front runner of the lone spot from qualifier. Previously two time Asia cup participated Nation Hong Kong and two time world cup as well as three Asia cup participated Nation UAE who eliminated Nepal from the race of Asia cup of 2004 and 2008 in 2000 and 2006 respectively are big threat ahead of Nepal to swallow for carving the road through Asia cup.
Nepal will meet the another emerging Nation Oman in their opening encounter of qualifier. Previously both has meet in preferred format in WCL division two held in Namibia where Oman has secured 6 wicket easy victory over Nepal. In recent time Oman has displayed quality game across the limited over format and definitely going to put challenge infront of Nepal . Though Malaysia and Singapore look weaker team up against like of ODI nation Nepal but they can upset any of the top giant on their day.
Nepal side looks more settled this time around as team is getting regular match practices since last six months . Recently they toured Netherlands for their historic one day series where touring side levelled the series by close win of one run in last encounter of two match series. Though team is getting regular match practices, they still have some riots in opening which this time veteran openers of Nepal, khakurel and Malla definitely like to convert opportunities in performances. Another young lad Anil kumar sah is front runner of opening spot in playing eleven who serves as occasional wicketkeeper as well as handy bowler.
Legendry skipper of Nepal paras khadka and Mr performer Dipendra Singh Airee are all set to carry responsibility of middle order. Come back man sagar pun has useful experience of Malaysian conditions as he emerged out one of the highest run getter in recently concluded Malaysian premier league . He could emerged out to be one of the best recruitment of side after dropping him for series of failure in world cricket league.
Since last six months two young lads Rohit kumar Paudel and Arif sekih are showing more maturity at lower middle order and stood out as the match winners in some of matches , all eyes will be at them to deliver in bigger extent. Pace battery will be handled by like of sompal kami who click nearly 140 kmph along with Valentine’s boy karan kc and left arm pacer Lalit bhandari.
Young sensation Sandeep lamichane and veteran left arm orthodox Basanta Regmi will accompanied by another left arm orthodox Lalit rajbanshi in spin department.
Sandeep lamichane who recently participated in Caribbean premier league (CPL) ,will be one of the star leggie in which Nepal will definitely bank on.
Skipper paras khadka himself one of the star back home has another challenge as well as historical opportunities to led yet again in big stage in Asia cup.
Last time Nepal has participated in bigger tournament was back in 2014 Icc twenty twenty worldcup held in Bangladesh. Eyes will be in Dipendra singh Airee ,another consistent performer for the Nepal team in recent past. Another talented all-rounder Kami will definitely like to showcase his ability in bigger stage and win the match for the Nepal side. Among the batsman ,like of Anil kumar sah and Arif sheikh definitely want to convert thier talent in performances. These are also players to watch out in tournament from Nepal side .
For the Nepalese fan back home, this tournament won’t be just another qualifier, it will be yet another bigger and better emotion as this qualifier might fulfil the million’s dream to see their nation competing with champions side like India and Pakistan.
There are tons of expectations of Nepalese fans from all over the world to see their Nation again in televisions sets as associates matches are barely televised.