KATHMANDU: Nepal U19 team will face their arch rivals – Afghanistan, in the opening match of the ICC Under-19 World Cup qualifiers to be held on Ireland from July 28.
International Cricket Council (ICC) has already decided to scrap the format from next year, this will be the final opportunity for these 10 nations — two each from five continents — to make it to the ICC event through qualifiers.
Nepal are preparing for the 10-team round robin qualifiers under coach Jagat Tamata. Top six nations will make it to the ICC U-19 World Cup to be held in 2012.
After the match against Afghanistan, Nepal will face Scotland the next day. Nepal will play against Kenya on June 31 before facing Vanuatu on August 1. Nepal are scheduled to take on Canada on August 3 before playing three back-to-back matches against Namibia, Ireland and Papua New Guinea from August 5. Nepal will wrap up the campaign with a match against the United States of America on August 9.
Nepal have already picked a 18-member squad under the captaincy of Prithu Baskota, who led the team to runner-up finish in the U-19 Elite Cup behind Afghanistan in Thailand earlier this year.
Nepal’s fixtures for the tournament:
• July 28 vs Afghanistan
• July 29 vs Scotland
• July 31 vs Kenya
• August 1 vs Vanuatu
• August 3 vs Canada
• August 5 vs Namibia
• August 6 vs Ireland
• August 7 vs PNG
• August 9 vs USA