Nepal name squad for Asia Cup

Kathmandu, Aug 15 (UNI) Young all-rounder Rohit Paudel leads Nepal as they name their 17-player squad for this year’s edition of the Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Paudel helped Nepal qualify for the 2023 Asia Cup by winning the ACC Premier Cup earlier this year and the 20-year-old has been entrusted to lead the country on the big stage yet again.

Nepal will take on Pakistan and India at the Asia Cup, with Paudel’s side drawn in Group A alongside the two cricketing powerhouses.

There were no major surprises in Nepal’s squad, with uncapped spinner Mousom Dhakal and young batter Sundeep Jora in the mix to feature at the tournament after they missed out on playing at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe in June, an ICC report said.

The likes of reliable top-order batter Bhim Sharki, teenager Gulshan Jha and Paudel will lead a relatively inexperienced Nepal batting line-up, while spinners Lalit Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane will be relied upon to restrict opposition batters.

It is the first Nepal squad named without Gyanendra Malla, following the retirement of the former captain earlier this month.

Nepal take on Pakistan in the tournament opener in Multan on August 30, before their second match against India in Kandy on September 4. The top two teams from the group then progress to the Super 4s stage of the event.

While Nepal failed to qualify for this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the likes of Pakistan and India will use the Asia Cup as a valuable warm-up event ahead of the 50-over showcase later this year.

Nepal will prepare for the Asia Cup with a week-long preparation camp in Pakistan.

Nepal squad: Rohit Paudel (c), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pratish GC, Mousom Dhakal, Sundeep Jora, Kishore Mahato, Arjun Saud.

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