Nepal and Zimbabwe regain ICC membership following board meeting in Dubai

Sport360 staff 09:53 15/10/2019
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Good news for Nepal.

Cricket chiefs readmitted Zimbabwe and Nepal as ICC member on Monday following a three-month suspension over political interference for the former.

An ICC statement said the move followed a meeting in Dubai involving the Zimbabwe cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and sports minister, Kirsty Coventry.

“I would like to thank the Zimbabwe sports minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe cricket,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

“Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC board.”

Zimbabwe will now be able to take up their place in the men’s Under-19 World Cup in January and the ICC Super League later in 2020.

Nepal has also been readmitted as an ICC member on a conditional basis following their 2016 suspension for a breach of the ICC regulations which prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.

Manohar said: “Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with associate membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding.”

Zimbabwe’s punishment was imposed in July after the cricket board was suspended by the government and replaced with an interim committee.

Political turmoil within the sport and a string of humiliating performances led Zimbabwe to suspend their involvement in Test cricket in 2005 although they continued to play one-day internationals and Twenty20 (T20) internationals at the highest level.

They returned to Test cricket in 2011 but are languishing in 11th place in the rankings.

They are 12th in the ODI rankings and did not qualify for this year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

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PSL 2019: Lamichhane bowls most expensive spell of career on Lahore Qalandars debut

Ajit Vijaykumar 18:36 22/02/2019
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Sandeep Lamichhane. Image: PSL/Twitter.

Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane had a mixed day at the office as he made his Lahore Qalandars debut in PSL 2019 in Sharjah on Friday.

Bowling first, Lahore were put under intense pressure by Multan Sultans opener James Vince as the English batsman greeted the leg-spinner with a six off his first ball. Lamichhane’s opening over went for 17 runs and and the day only got more expensive for the teenager.

Lamichhane got the wickets of Vince, Shoaib Malik and Andre Russell to reduce the pain of conceding 46 runs from his four overs.

It was the most expensive spell of Lamichhane’s T20 carer.

According to CricViz, it was the most runs Lamichhane had conceded in his T20 career, three more than what he had given against the Netherlands last year.

It was just the third occasion Lamichhane had gone for more than 40 runs in a T20.

However, the three wickets were a welcome sight as Lamichhane is an attacking spinner. Lahore Qalandars will draw some positives from the wickets column.

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Fielding the deciding factor as Nepal snatch 10-over win against UAE to clinch T20 series

Ajit Vijaykumar 20:43 03/02/2019
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Nepal defeated UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the T20 series in Dubai.

Rain first threatened to wash out the deciding T20 match of the three-match series between UAE and Nepal at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Sunday before setting up a thrilling 10-overs-a-side clash which was won by Nepal by 14 runs.

The hosts won the toss and asked Nepal to bat first and it was only UAE captain Mohammad Naveed (2-6) and Amir Hayat (2-16) who exercised some control in their quota of two overs as Nepal – powered by captain Paras Khadka’s 29 – crossed the 100-run mark to finish on 104-8.

That total could have been a lot lower if the UAE had shown better judgment while catching with two chances offered by Khadka and Sundeep Jora in the sixth and seventh over grassed at the boundary ropes. What’s worse, both chances went for six runs.

When it was their turn to bowl, Nepal showed UAE the value of water-tight fielding in short formats as outstanding catching at the long-off boundary by Gyanendra Malla and desperate fielding in the deep in general allowed Nepal to recover from a poor first over from Sandeep Lamichhane – which went for 20 runs – to tighten the noose and emerge victorious by 14 runs.

With the result, Nepal took the T20 series 2-1 to go with the ODI series that they won by a similar margin.

Nepal captain Khadka said the win was down all down the fielding of the team.

“The fielding was outstanding. The kind of catches we took was brilliant. Malla was outstanding. The second last ball of the penultimate over, the catch he took… if that had gone for four, the game could have gone either way. Today, the fielding was the deciding factor,” Khadka said.

UAE coach Dougie Brown was unhappy that despite practising for these very close situations, the players lost their focus and forgot what was told to them.

“We were batting so well, playing shots straight  down the ground. There was no need to play across. We needed 33 from the last three overs. Under pressure, the players went back to their old self and somehow forgot what has been told to them,” Brown said.

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