The second edition of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Fast Track Countries Tournament is beginning on Friday with the match between Nepal and Singapore.
Nepali team led by Binod Das today left for Singapore to play the match. Nepal is looking for the first win in the tournament after it lost two, one each to UAE and Hong Kong, and drew two, against Singapore and Malaysia, last year.
“Three-day cricket is more difficult than one-dayers. It’s more mental struggle and we are ready for it,” captain Das told the Post before leaving the country. “Our aim is the first win. Besides, we also want to claim as much points as possible.”
The rules of the tournament and its point system is little difficult to understand. Each day of the match sees 105 overs with the first innings of both the teams not lasting more than 90 overs each. Besides, team earns half-a-point for each 25 runs until 300 runs in the first innings and 200 runs in second innings. Each wicket counts half-a-point. A win adds 14 more points.
For the first time in four years, Nepali team will play without Sri Lankan coach Roy Dias. Senior national coach Arun Aryal will take charge of the team. He last coached the national team in 2000 when Nepal played the third ACC Trophy in UAE. “Nepali team is playing the first game after the failure in the
World Cup Qualifying Series Division II and is enthusiastic to perform well,” Aryal said. “Clearly, we want to win.”
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) president Jai Kumar Nath Shah hoped for best performanc from the team while bidding farewell amidst a ceremony at CAN office.
The tournament started last year to help non-Test playing nations gain experience of longer version of cricket will be participated by six countries. The remaining teams are UAE, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The top three teams from the tournament qualify for the next year’s ICC InterContinental Cup – the only first class tournament for non-Test playing nations.
Last year, Nepal secured third position behind UAE and Hong Kong, which will play the second match of the tournament in April 24-16. Nepal’s next match will be against Hong Kong at home ground starting April 30.
Himesh Bajracharya wrote this report.