Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has named a 13-member national squad for the InterContinental Cup playoff match against Namibia to be held in Windhoek from March 23-26.
Aamir Akhtar and U-19 hero Basant Regmi are two new faces in the national team while off-spinner Sanjam Regmi, U-19 vice captain Paras Khadka and pacer Avaya Rana missed the national squad. Paras chose to opt out of the team for his studies. All-rounder Aamir, who played for Nepal in 2000 U-19 Cricket World Cup has been playing professional cricket in England and Scotland.
Binod Das has been retained as captain while Shakti Gauchan made to the team despite eye injury sustained by a raising delivery from Dhirendra Chand during practice threatening his position. Dhirendra, opener Paresh Lohani, U-19 captain Kanishka Chaugai, leg-spinner Raj Kumar Pradhan, Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, wicket-keeper Manoj Katuwal and Raju Basnet are all named for the team.
Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) only asked for 12 players and two officials, CAN is sponsoring an extra cricketer. Roy Dias will be the coach while Sri Niwas Rana has been appointed the manager.
The match is a do-or-die for Nepal as the winner qualifies for the eight-team ICC InterContinental Cup. Nepal must win the match to qualify while a draw would be enough for Namibia for the qualification as they are positioned well than Nepal in ranking. The tie will the first four-day match Nepal would be playing.
The team leaves on Saturday, March 18.