The selection pannel of coaches Jagat Tamatta, Binod Das and Raju Basnyat has announced the 18 member preliminary squad for ICC Women World Cup Qualifier of Asian region to be held in Hong Kong from October 9th.
Mamata Thapa, the regular wicket-keeper and vice-captain has been left out from the Nepal’s team for the first time. She had played every tournament for Nepal since country’s first international appearance.
Left arm pacer Sonu Khadka and all-rounder Mamata Chaudhary are another regular member of the team in recent years to miss out the cut while Rekha Rawal and Anjali Chand were dropped from the Asian Games squad, the last tournament Nepal played in.
Among the selected, Laxmi Chaudhary, the highest run scorer in the Women’s Tournament held by National Sports Council, Sabnam Rai and Nirmala Shahi are the new faces in the squad. Similaryly, Roshni Bohra has made it into the national squad for the first time since 2013.
Speaking to WicketNepal, head coach Raju Basnyat stated that the batting side of the team has gone under tremendous improvement in the recent times as a result of quality time being spent inpractice currently. He further believes that the team can challenge the likes of Thailand and China and expects a positive result. He feels that the team is not under a huge pressure as there aren’t any burden of expectations and hence can play freely.
The last international tournament Nepal played in was the Asian Games in 2014 where they crashed out from the Quarter-Finals.The current squad was selected on the basis of the National Women’s Tournament organized by National Sports Council last month.
Previously, a 38 member preliminary squad was selected which has now been cut down to 18.The final 14 will be announced by September 27, Coach Raju Basnyat informed.
Nepal will play Hong Kong in the first match of their qualifiers campaign, the tournament, which also features China and Thailand, will be played in a double round-robin format with the top placed team making it into the Global Qualifiers.
The 18 member squad includes: Rubina Chhetri, Sita Rana Magar, Kajol Shrestha, Shova Ale, Nary Thapa Magar, Neera Rajopadhyay, Roshani Bohara, Sabnam Rai, Laxmi Chaudhary, Sangita Rai, Indu Barma, Jyoti Pandey, Saraswati Chaudhary, Anuradha Chaudhary, Rashmi Sharma, Nirmala Shahi, Karuna Bhandari and Sarita Magar.