Former captains hopeful of qualification World T20 Qualifiers
KATHMANDU, Nov 11: With the aim of playing the T20 World Cup, the national cricket team has reached the United Arab Emirates on Monday to compete in the qualifiers of the tournament beginning on Friday.
The top six teams will qualify for the finals to be held next year in Bangladesh.
Here is what former national captains, coach Pubudu Dasanayake and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had to say about the Nepali team and its qualification chances.
Considering the team, its performance and investment of CAN, I am optimistic that Nepal will reach the World Cup. The match exposure in later stages will be helpful in realizing our dream of finishing in the top-six.
The training was also quite satisfactory but there might be weaknesses in fielding. Skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla are at their best. Though Sarad Vesawkar does not seem to in his best form, he is an experienced guy. Jeetendra Mukhiya does not have much experience but he"s honing his skills. The coach has a great role in the team. It is good that he is considering every fact, including food and psychology of the players. He also has good knowledge of opponents.
The flamboyance of coach, players, team and the training shows that the team has a high level of confidence. The farewell of players by corporate houses has also boosted the players" confidence. Captain Paras Khadka"s performance has been praiseworthy. Even if Nepal fails to gain direct entry to the World Cup, there are other alternatives. But Nepali players are capable of reaching the World Cup on their own.
The Delhi tour has given a huge boost to the players" morale. Along with skipper Khadka and Malla, Anil Mandal and Subash Khakurel are in good form. The comeback of Amrit Bhattarai and Sagar Pun"s role as off-spinner has made the team strong. Mahesh Chhetri is also a quality player and could prove his mettle if he gets the opportunity. Players have big hopes on coach Dassanayake who has brought a big change to Nepali cricket.
Nepal could secure its place in the finals finishing in the top-six but it should play very well to win the tournament. This national team can perform well, but there are no players to replace the current set in the long run.
The team is largely dependent on skipper Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla and openers Subash Khakurel and Pradeep Airee. The main thing to consider is batting and it is vital that these four players are at their best. The team"s performance over the past two year highlights the role of the coach.
Coach Dassanayake has used all his credentials for the betterment of the team. The tournament will be very competitive as every team has made sound preparations.
The national team"s training has been the best ever and the players have put in all their efforts. I watched the training recently and I felt it was the real training of national team. There is a physiotherapist as well as a technical analyst in the team. The team could have been better had we got such training a decade ago. The coach has sound plans and the players are also getting a few facilities.
Though I an not aware of other teams" preparations, I am sure Nepal can secure a place in the top-six. Capatain Khadka is in good form and has been more serious after assuming the captain"s responsibility. Malla is excellent in batting and fast bowlers are in good shape. Mukhiya is getting better with each passing day. Spinners are also in good shape and the arrival of Pun has strengthened Nepal"s bowling.
I am hopeful of reaching the World Cup. We could finish in the top-six position if we consider the tune Nepali team has caught after Division 4. The preparations were not as expected, but I have confidence in the players. All teams are competitive, but Afghanistan and The Netherlands are strong. Papua New Guinea should not be underestimated.
Captain Khadka is at his peak and I have big hopes from Binod Bhandari. Sarad Vesawkar and Malla have made the middle-order strong. Basanta Regmi and Shakti Gauchan are in good shape. Nepali team has been doing magic after the arrival of Dassanayake as the coach. I am hopeful that the pair of coach and skipper will have good tuning.