The SAARC Twenty 20 Cup has been postponed for a day after Bangladesh were unable to send a team to the tournament. According to the new schedule, the maiden event will kick-off from Tuesday in the Maldives.
The U-25 cricket team of Nepal will face Sri Lanka in the second match of the inaugural day, while host Maldives have an easier opponent, Bhutan, to deal with in the curtain raiser.
Bangladesh’s withdrawal from the event has made the home team’s road to semi-finals a lot easier as Afghanistan is the only real threat in their way.
For Nepal, a lot has to be done should they move into the semis. With the likes of cricketing giants Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India in the same group, B, Nepal’s road is covered with hurdles and coach Pubudu Dassanayake, who is making his debut with the team, will have to pull off something extra.
The 14-member Nepali team will be headed by skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla will serve as his deputy.
The team also includes Mahesh Chhetri, Anil Mandal, Sharad Vesawkar, Amrit Bhattarai and Binod Bhandari. Likewise, CAN has included seven players from the U-19 squad—Prithu Baskota (U-19 captain), Rahul BK, Naresh Budhaayer, Pradeep Airee, Krishna Karki, Bhuwan Karki and Avinash Karna.
After playing against Sri Lanka, Nepal will take on India on November 3 and Pakistan on November 5. The tournament is likely to give strength to the senior team who are preparing themselves for the ACC Twenty20 Cup slated for December in Kathmandu.