The Preview

Suresh Navaratnam,
Malaysia captain
Raju Khadka,
Nepal captain

Malaysia take on Nepal in the latest Fast Track Countries Tournament (FTCT) match this weekend at the Selangor Turf Club, Kuala Lumpur. Both teams have been building up a healthy rivalry in the region for a number of years at senior level. So far, Nepal have the edge beating Malaysia two out of two in both games, once in Singapore in the ACC Trophy and in Kathmandu in the InterContinental Cup.

So how does Suresh Navaratnam, Malaysia’s captain, rate the opposition? “No doubt they are a good team, their bowling and fielding, especially their spinners are their strength. But I am feeling very positive about my own team and I believe we can win. M. Muniandy, a seasoned campaigner, is back in our team and as our opening bowler and middle order bat he has added strength to our side.”

Raju Khadka, the Nepalese captain sees it differently and believes his team have the upper hand. “People say our strength is always our bowling and fielding but our batting is also improving. A number of our cricketers have been playing cricket in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and that has made them match-tough. We must play well in this match.”

Coached by ‘The Godfather’ Roy Dias and possessed of a number of colourful characters, Nepal certainly have something about them which suggests that Malaysia will have to play with more consistency and character than displayed in last week’s match against the UAE. Malaysia are smarting from their wounds and have a proud captain keen to prove his team’s doubters wrong.

FTCT Points Table : 24th September 2004

Team
Played
Won
Lost
Draw
Total Points
U.A.E.
1
1
0
0
31
Singapore
2
0
1
1
27.5
Nepal
1
0
0
1
13.5
Malaysia
0
0
0
0
0
Hong Kong
0
0
0
0
0


Filed September 23rd 2004