A Nepali passion for cricket

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Pepsi World Cricket League from Saturday

Posted by Prabin the सोभित on बिहिवार, फ्रेवुअरी 18, 2010

BINOD PANDEY, The Republica, kathmandu

Pepsi World Cricket League Division-5 Tournament will begin from Saturday in Kathmandu. Nepal are hosting the International Cricket Council´s tournament for the first time.

This tournament is the qualifiers(5-4-3-2-1 divisions) for the 2015 World Cup Cricket. Altogether six countries, including Nepal, are participating in the tournament. The details of the five countries Nepal will face are as follows:

Jersey (against NEPAL in Feb. 20)

Jersey were selected for the Division-4 league in 2008 after they secured the second position in the league in their home ground. They defeated Singapore, Japan, Bahamas and Botswana in group stage and America in the semifinal. However, they lost to Afghanistan in the final.

But they landed in the relegation zone after they finished fifth in the Division-4 league held in Tanzania the same year. The team´s only success was to defeat Fiji by 79 runs. They lost to Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Italy and Tanzania.

The team´s captain Ryan Driver has the experience of playing in English County teams Lancashire and Cornwall. Coach Criag Hogan has been with the team since March last year.

The team reached India on Monday and will arrive in Kathmandu on Thursday after four days´ training in Chandigadh, India.

Singapore (against NEPAL in Feb. 21)

Division-6 leaders Singapore will take on Bahrain on Saturday at the Tribhuvan University Cricket ground. Singapore had earlier defeated Bahrain in the final of Division-6 match in their home ground.

Singapore landed in relegation in 2008 although they lost only one match in Division-5. Singapore had to step down to Division-6 despite their win over Afghanistan by 69 runs because they couldn´t make it to the semifinals as their matches against Japan and Botswana were ruined by rain.

The team´s coach is former Sri Lankan star batsman Marvan Atapattu. According to the ICC website, Attapattu has inquired about Kathmandu´s weather and wicket condition in Nepal to Sri Lankan coach of Nepali team Roy Luke Dias through telephone.

But that doesn´t mean Dias is sharing too many tips. “I did speak with Marvan this week and he enquired about the weather and the wickets but it´s going to be a difficult tournament for him as his team don´t train all together all the time like Nepal, so it makes it harder for them to gel as a side and for him to work with them as a coach,´ Dias is quoted as saying in the news.

Singapore lost to Nepal by 206 runs in 2006 during the ACC Premier League 3-day Tournament held in Kathmandu after a couple of three-day matches were drawn in Singapore. Nepal had defeated Singapore by nine wickets during the ACC T20 Tournament held in the UAE two months ago.

Bahrain (against NEPAL in Feb. 23)

Bahrain have qualified for Division-5 as they were the runners-up of Division-6. They stunned Malaysia in the first match with a two-run win. Before that, they were the winners of Division-7.

During the ACC Twenty-20 Cup, Bahrain finished 11th out of 12 teams. They lost to Nepal by seven wickets. Nepal also had defeated Bahrain in the ACC Trophy quarterfinals in 2006 by 25 runs.

Pakistan´s former test cricketer Mohsin Kamal is leading the Bahrain team as a coach. Nepal is not an unfamiliar ground for him. He had led Bahrain´s U-17 team to Nepal during the ACC U-17 tournament last year

Fiji (against NEPAL in Feb. 24)

Fiji had defeated Nepal by three runs in the semifinals of the World Cricket League Division-2 qualifiers in 2005.

Among the participating teams, Fiji had the record of troubling Nepal the most in the past. Nepal had lost to Fiji by 123 runs in Malaysia during the First ACC Trophy in 1998 which was Nepal´s first international appearance. Fiji had ousted Nepal in 2001 in the practice match prior to the ICC Trophy held in Canada as well.

Fiji were placed in the relegation zone of Division-3 league in 2007. They also lost four matches out of five in the Division-4 league in 2008. Though Captain Joy Rica had scored 194 runs in Division 4 league, other players were unimpressive during the tournament.

The team recently lost a practice match with Nepal´s Region No 3 team, Kathmandu, by four wickets.

Steve Jenkin, former coach to Kiwis women´s team, is the coach of Fiji.

America (against NEPAL in Feb. 26)

Nepal are facing America for the third time. Nepal played twice against America in Division 5 in 2008. Though the league match between them was washed out, Nepal had won the third place playoff by 96 runs.

America are the only team in the tournament that had played One Day International matches during the Champions Trophy in 2004. They are playing again in Division-5 after emerging fourth in the last edition of the tournament.

Clayton Lambert, who once was an attacking batsman of West Indies, is the team coach for the US while New Zealand´s former off-spinner Deepak Patel is assistant to Lambert.

America just returned from the UAE after playing the ICC World Twenty-20 qualifiers. They did not qualify for the tournament that will be held next year as they won over Scotland by six wickets but lost to Ireland by 78 runs and Afghanistan by 29 runs.

Lennox Cush, who has the reputation of being a Twenty-20 expert, is the key player of the US. He is a first class player and has scored two centuries. The Guyanese scored 94 runs in the practice match against Nepali champions Kathmandu on Wednesday.


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