Kathmandu, Nepal – August 22, 2023
In a spirited and emotional gesture, Nepal President Ram Chandra Poudel held a heartwarming farewell ceremony today to bid adieu to the national cricket team as they set off to Pakistan for the highly anticipated Asia Cup 2023 tournament.
As the players, coaches, and support staff gathered amidst a backdrop of fluttering national flags and enthusiastic cheers, the atmosphere was charged with a sense of anticipation and pride. President Poudel delivered an inspiring farewell address, emphasizing the team’s significance as ambassadors of Nepal’s rising cricketing prowess.
Farewell from President Mr. Ram Chandra Paudel to the Nepali national team leaving for Pakistan tomorrow. Notably, Sandeep Lamichhane was absent in this function too. pic.twitter.com/rIcEv5BRm0
— Cardiac Kids Nepal 🏏 (@CardiacKidsNP) August 22, 2023
The team is leaving for Pakistan at 1 a.m. Wednesday to adjust to Pakistani conditions ahead of the tournament. Nepal will take on hosts Pakistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup on August 30 in Multan. It will be their first-ever Asia Cup appearance.
The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has announced the final squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023.
The Nepal team will go through a week-long preparation camp in Pakistan, where the team will train and play matches against PCB-designated teams. pic.twitter.com/yWt4ZDyogx
— CAN (@CricketNep) August 14, 2023
The Asia Cup will be held from August 30 to September 17. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are in Group B; whereas Nepal, India, and Pakistan are in Group A.
Get ready for the Asia Cup 2023 opener in Multan!
Pakistan 🇵🇰 vs Nepal 🇳🇵
🗓️ 30 August
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 18, 2023
Nepal will play its second match against India on September 4 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
“Everyone is ready. We will enjoy the game,” said captain Rohit Paudel, reflecting the team’s excitement and determination. ”
“A long-time dream is coming true. The result is not in our control, but the process is in our control.”
The farewell ceremony featured heartfelt speeches that resonated with gratitude and encouragement. Players shared their aspirations and determination to give their best in the upcoming tournament, with captain Paudel expressing the team’s dedication to making Nepal proud.
“All of us have learned a lot from the World Cup qualifiers and the Emerging Cup. The players have improved their weaknesses. So we are focused on how to give the best cricket on that day,” said Paudel.
Coach Monty Desai added his insights, stating that even the world’s greatest batsmen get out to short balls and this should not be considered a problem.
“The best players in the world are also out on short balls. I say please hit the ball, my boys. That’s when their character is seen,” he said. Desai acknowledged that Nepal’s journey to competing with full-member teams will take time due to the challenges.
“They have a great history. We have many problems. I have seen players practicing indoors without lights for five months. There is only one bowling machine. The management also has challenges. As much as we have, we will make the most of it,” Desai emphasized.
Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli also organized a dinner party today for the Nepali national Team. All the coaching staffs and players were present at the dinner party but Sandeep Lamichhane was absent.
Former Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli organised a dinnner party today for Nepali national Team which will play Asia Cup for the first time in their history. All the coaching staffs and players were present in the dinner party but Sandeep Lamichhane was absent. pic.twitter.com/6pggU5rt3d
— Cardiac Kids Nepal 🏏 (@CardiacKidsNP) August 21, 2023
As the Nepal Cricket Team embarks on this journey, the entire nation stands united in wishing them triumphs, memorable moments, and an unforgettable experience at the Asia Cup.
For real-time updates on the team’s journey and their performances in the Asia Cup, stay tuned to our sports section.
However, amidst the bittersweet farewells, the team faced an unforeseen setback as star player Sandeep Lamichhane conveyed his unwell condition to CAN. He submitted a medical report indicating his inability to accompany the team to Pakistan. Despite this, both CAN and coach Monty Desai remain optimistic about Lamichhane’s potential participation in the Asia Cup 2023.
Chatur Bahadur Chand, the president of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), confirmed this unforeseen development, stating, “Sandeep will not go with the Nepali team today. He is sick. He did not even come to practice because he was not fit. The team will leave at one o’clock tonight.”
Chand’s comments revealed the suddenness of Sandeep’s illness, and he refrained from divulging further details.
It is important to note that Sandeep Lamichhane has been facing legal proceedings in the Kathmandu District Court for the past year on charges of rape of a minor. The court recently ordered an investigation to ascertain the date of birth of the victim’s mother.
Nepal’s Asia Cup squad:
Rohit Poudel (captain), Asif Sheikh (wicketkeeper), Kushal Bhurtel, Lalit Rajbanshi, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Dipendra Singh Airee, Sandeep Lamichhane, Karan KC, Gulshan Jha, Aarif Sheikh, Sompal Kami, Pratish GC, Kishore Mahato, Sandeep Jora, Arjun Saud and Mausam Dhakal.