All the best to the Nepalese Cricket team who are on their way to take part in a ten-team cricket tournament where the top two teams qualify for the next ICC Cricket World Cup.
Recently, the Nepalese T20 team qualified for the T20 World Cup after finishing third in a 14 team qualifying tournament. The two teams which finished above Nepal in that tournament have already qualified for the ODI World Cup. So, Nepal will face only the teams that finished below them in the recent tournament. However, Nepal lost their games against two of those teams and were taken close by a few others. Nothing can be taken for granted.
However, T20 and 50 over cricket are two different versions of the game. I have always felt that Nepal might be stronger at the slower or longer versions. Qualifying for the 50 over world cup will be a far better accomplishment because then, we will get to play against at least five established teams. In the T20 World Cup, Nepal must first finish ahead of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong in order to qualify further and play the other big guns. Also T20 is only a recently added version of cricket. ODI World Cups have been played since 1975.
It was great to watch the recent T20 world cup where Nepal played brilliantly. We had some fortune on our side as well as the three losses in the group stage in the hands of Afghanistan, Netherlands, and Scotland were still not enough to push Nepal below third place. There was a relatively easy win against Denmark while the other wins were all tough and hard fought. Nepal’s batting showed signs of vast improvement although it didn’t click in a couple of games.
I am really hoping for Nepal to do well in the upcoming qualifiers. I have my fingers crossed that we can reach the World Cup. It would be fabulous to see Nepal there. We may be whipped in some games but I believe we have a chance of causing an upset or two at least.
Article by Anup Pokhrel. His blogs can be followed at Finlip.blogspot.com, his twitter handle is @finlip.