“Nepal belongs to Division One,” proclaimed cricket skipper Paras Khadka emerging out of the Tribhuvan International Airport on Sunday.
Nepal, which is currently in the Division Four of the World Cricket League (WCL), finished seventh in the ICC Twenty20 Cup qualifiers in UAE ensuring global ranking of 7.
The WCL is participated by International Cricket Council´s (ICC) Associate and Affiliate members ranked below 10 Test nations. In WCL, Nepal is ranked 27th.
“We defeated World Cup playing nations. We know what is required to be in the Division One or Two,” Khadka said. “We are not far from the higher divisions.”
The captain, who won the man-of-the-match awards in three of Nepal´s six victories in the tournament, emphasized on preparations. “We need to prepare well to be in those divisions,” he said. “We have met expectations.”
About the performance of the players, Khadka stressed on good preparations and exposure to players so that the team would do well in the upcoming tournaments. “As a team, everybody tried their best and gave their best,” he added.
Khadka said he was satisfied with the performance of the team during the qualifiers and added that the team tried its best to qualify for the World T20 Cup. “Our rank prior to the event was 16th and we managed to finish seventh,” he said.
“The turning point in the tournament was the match against Papua New Guinea in the league round,” he said. “If we had won the match…”
“We should have won the match against Papua New Guinea but we lost the match because of our own mistakes. Batsmen could not play well. We need to improve our batting for crucial matches,” he said.
Skipper Khadka said he is satisfied with his performance in the tournament. “Before heading for the tournament I had said that I would make more runs and I kept my word.”
About the overall performance, Khadka said it was the best T20 tournament that Nepal ever participated. “We must thank coach for his brilliant job. Previously we had struggled to score but this time the team made decent scores.”
Khadka said Nepal stands a chance to qualify for the World Cup 2014 as six teams will qualify. “We are optimistic about participation in the next World Cup as we managed to finish seventh and the sixth spot is just one step away.”