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25 Jan 2011

Nepal dreams again to regain ACC U-19 trophy

"The boys are dreaming again to regain the lost glory !!"- These were the words of Nepalese U-19 captain Prithu Baskota before flying to Bangladesh (Quoted from Cricket Nepal ). Prithu sounded very confident about his team's strength and qualifying for the U-19 world cup again. The young team had conquered ACC U-19 trophy five times in a row to qualify for U-19 world cup, but could not manage to repeat the history in the last edition. Nepal lost to Afghanistan in the semi-final and was deprived to qualify for the youth world cup 6th consecutive time.

(Image Courtesy: Malaysian Cricket )

Prithu, however, did not write off the challenges of Afghanistan and UAE, along with Oman. All these teams are in the same group, making it a "Group of Death". Afghanistan look dangerous as usual. The Afghani team have been training successfully in Pakistan, where it manages to win lots of practice matches. Nepal, on the other hand, had few practice matches against the top clubs of Nepal, and they recorded victories against all the teams, comprised of National and bench players. Nepal will face its first real challenges against Bangladesh U-19 teams. Nepal will test the quality of the players against strong Bangadeshis in 3 practice matches before competing in the ACC trophy in Feb 1. 

This is the first tournament for Nepal after the departure of high profile coach Roy Luke Dias. Jagat Tamata, the local coach, will guide the team in the ACC trophy. Nepal U-19 team is comprised of some players with International experience. Prithu Baskota, the captain, has also represented Nepal internationally in U-15 and U-17 tournaments. Rahul B.K., the ace spinner with 7 wickets in a match against USA in the WCL Div 5 final will be the vice captain. Besides them, Pradeep Aire, Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun have already played in international arena. Nepal looks strong on paper, but Afghanistan is always a strong competitor. 

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