The Nepali cricket team on Sunday left for Dubai to fine tune their preparation for the March 16-April 6 ICC World Twenty20.
â€œThe Dubai tour is important for as we will be provided excellent training facilities where we also play a practice match under flood lights (against the United Arab Emirates),â€ said coach Pubudu Dassanayake. The Nepali team is scheduled to play the The Netherlands on March 6 and the UAE the next day in their week-long Dubai stay.
Skipper Paras Khadka added that his team was ready for the mega event in Bangladesh. â€œFor the last two and a half years we have been extremely busy playing cricket â€” be it competing in tournaments or practising for those events,â€ Khadka said.
â€œOur primary objective is to make it to the main draw in the World Cup, the second round,â€ added the Nepal skipper. â€œBut we will have to play very good cricket to make that happen as each team has an equal chances in the shorter format of the game.â€
Despite the confidence of Khadka, the prospect of Nepal advancing into the main draw look extremely bleak considering that they are pitted against the two strong opponents in Afghanistan and Test-playing nation Bangladesh. Nepal can fancy their chances against Hong Kong but, since only one team from the pool to make it to the main draw, Nepal require extra-ordinary showing.
From Dubai, the team will fly to Bangladesh were they will play two warm-up matches against Ireland and the UAE the tournament proper kicks of with a match against Hong Kong on March 16th.
Meanwhile, the new jersey of the cricket team bearing the logo of Singa Steel, a Singapore based company was unveiled on Sunday. Member Secretary of National Sports Council Yubaraj Lama and chief of the Singa Steel Saad Khan Janjua jointly unveiled the jersey.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had signed a three-year sponsorship contract worth $100,000 with the Singapore based company in December. As per the agreement the company will provide cricket kits including jerseys to the national team each year.
CAN appeals for fansâ€™ support
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) on Sunday requested everyone to cheer for the national cricket team by wearing their jersey on the days Nepal play their World Cup matches, dubbed as flag day celebration. â€œWe request all the corporate houses and cricket lovers to make flag day celebrations a success by putting on cricket teamâ€™s jersey on the days Nepal play their matches in Bangladesh,â€ appealed the CAN member Purna Lama on Sunday.