Tuesday, 3rd March 2015

Nepal will qualify from WCL Div-3: Dassanayake

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Nepal's Cricket coach Pubudu Dassanayake (center) is flanked by Nepali cricket fans and team, including captain Paras Khadka (right), and at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, on Thursday. (Rss/Kumar Shrestha)

Nepal's Cricket coach Pubudu Dassanayake says he is confident Nepal will qualify from ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3.

Dassanayake arrived back in Kathmandu on Thursday after the government's July 1 decision to extend his contract with the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) by a year. Talking to the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Dassanayake said he would be focusing on ICC WCL Division 3 and Division 2.

Expressing joy at being brought back, Dassanayake said, "I am happy to be back and if I get proper support and the right opportunity, we will make it through Division 3 and then Division 2."

The Division 3 tournament is scheduled to be held in Uganda from October 26- November 2.

"The team needs to have more training sessions now since they have not been in training in the last two months," Dassanayake said.

After his contract Nepali cricket's governing body expired early this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports stepped in July to extend it by a year.

He was confident that Nepal will be one of the top performers in the upcoming Division 3 tournament.

However, Dassanayake says he is a little apprehensive about Division 2. An overall improvement is needed at all levels for a quality performance at that level, he says.

Issues related to CAN need to be resolved to lift the state of Nepali cricket, he says.

Dassanayake says the upcoming 17th Asian Games, to be held in Incheon, South Korea, will also help the team focus before its Division 3 tournament.

The coach is also preparing to forward his plans to the sports ministry. “If the system accepts my plans and allows me to more forward accordingly, I will give my best to uplift the team and Nepali cricket,” he told reporters.

On Thursday, the Nepali National team, led by captain Paras Khadka, was at the airport to welcome him.

Speaking to media, Khadka praised the coach’s contribution and motivation that helped Nepal into the T20 World Cup for the first time.

“The sports ministry will forward the coach's contract to CAN. He will work under CAN though the ministry will bear his expenses,” Khadka revealed.

Dassanayake was first assigned as coach on August 23, 2011.

Nepal was in ICC's Division 4 when he arrived and had managed to be promoted to Division 2 during his tenure.

Under Dassanayake, Nepal qualified for the ICC World T20 tournament held in Bangladesh in March 2014 and advanced to the 50-over World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand.

Nepal, however, relegated to Division 3 after finishing ninth in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers (ODI) held in New Zealand from January 13 to February 1, 2014.



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