The national cricket team will take on USA on Sunday. Nepal, which reached the Division 3 level for the first time, hopes to win the tournament or at least secure a place in the World Cup Qualifiers.
The top two sides of the WCL Division 3 will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, which will be held in New Zealand in early 2014 and feature 10 of the leading associate and affiliate teams. The top two sides from New Zealand will then advance to the 14-team ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, where they will join the 10 Test nations.
Nepal is to face the host Bermuda, Italy, Uganda, Oman and the USA in the Division 3 tournament.
“It´s a new level of cricket for us. However, we will win the tournament if we can put up 80 percent of our potential in the tournament,” said Nepali Coach Pubudu Dassanayake.
Dassanayake claimed that his team is in the best shape. “We toured Jaipur, India for some practice matches and it was good. Probably, the best India tour ever,” he added.
Dassanayake said Nepal is a balanced team with confidence and experience. “We are well aware of how we can win the matches. We can calculate crucial moments of the match and play accordingly. We are a well set team,” said Dassanayake, who guided Canada to the last World Cup.
“We have talented openers and I hope they would repeat their previous performances in the Division 4 and ACC Trophy Elite. Meanwhile, we have the strongest middle order so far. Paras (Khadka), Gyanendra (Malla), Sharad (Vesawkar) and Binod (Bhandari) are dependable,” he said.
Dassanayake has raised his bars and said that he would not extend his contract if the team fails to reach World Cup or the secure One-Day status. “I have really raised the bars since this team has the potential and confidence,” he said.
Nepali team, which beat the USA in the league and final match of the Division 4, has a high morale for the Division 3. The ACC Trophy victory and the final clash against Afghanistan in recently concluded ACC T20 Cup have also boosted Nepal.
Uganda is entirely new team for Nepal while Nepal has won previous three encounters against Italy and two against Oman. Nepal had defeated Bermuda in the World T20 Qualifiers last year.
All these results put Nepal as the tournament favorite and boost Nepal´s hope of securing promotion to Division 2.
“It would not be an easy task but we can hope things would go good and we´ll win the tournament,” said Dassanayake.
Skipper Paras Khadka also claimed that the Nepali team is focused and playing in an ICC Cricket World Cup is the greatest and only dream for his side.
“We know that the opponents will challenge us in every department of the game. Knowing the fact that it could take us to the pathway to glory, we are taking this very seriously and will give all we have to qualify,” said Khadka to ICC Media department.