Nepal’s Rohit Paudel was only 15 when he made his international debut in Netherlands last year and already he has travelled to several countries with the senior side.  He posted an ODI half-century early this year and during his team’s first game of the Under-19 Asia Cup against Sri Lanka, showcased his temperament with a back to the wall 47 at R. Premadasa Stadium on Friday. There’s little doubt that he is a player for the future and after the game praised the opportunities the Asian Cricket Council has offered his team to develop their skills.

Nepal's Rohit Paudel

“The support the Asian Cricket Council has been giving us has been superb,” said Paudel. “Hats off to ACC and we thank them a lot for all the support they have given us. We were in Colombo for almost two weeks before the start of the tournament. That was very useful. We did lot of training and skill work. We also played three warm-up games and that was good exposure lead up to the tournament,” he added.

Paudel, whose cricket heroes are Nepal’s senior captain Paras Khadka and India’s Rohit Sharma went onto say that constant international exposure will help his team further develop. “We will be playing quite a few ODIs over the next four years and I guess that will help us to develop our game. The good thing about our team is that all our players are from Nepal.  We put in lot of effort and we take lot of pride in representing our country.”

Nepal have failed to earn a slot in the ICC Under-19 World Cup and they are making use of the Asia Cup to make an impact and send a strong message to the cricketing world. “With the Under-19 World Cup out of the equation, this is our biggest platform and we need to showcase our skills in this competition. We have got two more games against Bangladesh and UAE. We need to win both games to qualify for the semis. Our ultimate goal is to beat a Test playing nation. So the game against Bangladesh is the big one now for us. A win in that game will give us lot of confidence.”

When Paudel and Rid Gautam put on 91 runs for the third wicket, Nepal were in the game and looked set to post a competitive total. However, Paudel’s dismissal triggered a sensational middle order collapse. “Playing in the senior team and then coming to the Under-19 side has helped me and I had lot of confidence leading into this tournament. The plan today was to bat out for 30 overs and then assess the situation and cash in. We did that but we didn’t finish off properly. That was disappointing.”


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Filed September 6th, 2019