KATHMANDU, July 16: The training of Nepali U-19 cricket team at TU Cricket ground has been hampered by the monsoon. The U-19 squad has been undergoing training for the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup scheduled to start from August 11 in Australia.
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake said the training, which started from July 10, was smooth for the first three days but the rains had hampered training since then. “Since this is the monsoon season we cannot do our regular drills which has made the preparation tougher,” said coach Dassanayake.
When asked about the possibility of indoor training , Dassanayake said the training could be conducted in the open if the ground staff and administration worked properly. “We have only center wicket for the training as the other wickets and out field are water logged,” said the coach adding, “Electricity is another problem at TU Ground as the batsmen cannot practice batting with machine at the nets.”
Coach Dassanayake said the players were aware of the areas they needed to improve after participating at the Asia Cup. “We need at least 4-5 clear days before heading to Australia.”
Assistant coach Jagat Tamatta also echoed similar views. “Though we are facing tough time, the team will be able to challenge opponents in Australia,” said Tamatta. “The team is in good shape after the Asia Cup and they must deliver what they have during the World Cup.”
When asked about training outside the country, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) general secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel said that they do not have sufficient time. “We could have sent the team to India for training but India is also hit by monsoon. Meanwhile, the players must be in Nepal for the visa process,” said Pyakurel. “We have 15 days pre-tournament activities in Australia so that the players can acclimatize.”
Nepal will play two friendly matches on July 29 and August 3 against the local clubs in Durban and against Papua New Guinea and New Zealand at Brisbane as its warm-up matches.
Nepal will play Australia on August 13 at Tony Ireland Stadium (TIS), Townsville and take on Ireland on August 15 at Endeavour Park 1. Nepal will face England on August 16 at TIS.