Nepal will face Hong Kong in their must-win matches of the ICC World Cricket League Championship on October 13 and 15 at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground in Mong Hok.
The two matches of the sixth round are crucial for Nepal to keep their top four hopes alive. The top four teams from the eight-nation competition will secure berths in the next year’s ICC World Cup Qualifiers to be hosted by England and Wales.
National team head coach Jagat Tamatta also termed the matches as must-win ones. “The matches against Hong Kong are important for us to keep our hopes alive in the WCL Championship. It is a challenge for us but we do not have other options,” Tamatta.
Nepal, who have eight points from 10 matches, are sixth in the standing,
while Hong Kong are fifth with 11 points. Netherlands (18), Papua New Guinea (16), Scotland (15) and Kenya (12) currently hold the top four positions. Bottom two sides, Namibia and United Arab Emirates have already been relegated to the WCL Division-II as both the teams are tied on six points after sixth round matches.
Nepal, who will face United Arab Emirates in their seventh round matches, will be on track if they beat Hong Kong. And coach Tamatta was hopeful for positive results. “Overall preparation of the team is good and the India tour also helped us a lot as our players did well in the practices matches. We are hopeful of playing better cricket against Hong Kong and remain in track to finish in top four to qualify for the World Cup Qualifiers,” said Tamatta.
Tamatta said the team’s all three departments — batting, bowling and fielding — were equally good and every member of the team had worked hard. “Now the players need to perform during the matches,” added Tamatta.
Skipper Paras Khadka was not in the mood of letting things slip from his hands at the crucial hour. “We are in a do-or-die situation as we have to win remaining matches of the competition. We have already done our home work and the preparation is satisfactory,” said Khadka.
Khadka urged the players to handle the situation properly. “Since both the sides need to win the matches, the team which can handle the situation properly on the match day will walk away as victors. We have prepared well in all three departments and ready to face the opponents. As the grounds in Hong Kong is smaller in size, we have to focus on batting and fielding seriously,” added Khadka.