By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Cricketers facing disciplinary action from Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) and other disgruntled players have reportedly threatened the cricketers not to attend the closed-camp training for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers to be held in the third week of February in Oman.
A high-ranking source at CAN confirmed that the players selected for the closed-camp training are being threatened by the disgruntled players.
CAN had taken disciplinary action against four players including the then captain Gyanendra Malla, vice captain Dipendra Singh Aire, fast bowler Sompal Kami and Kamal Singh Aire on November 15 for publicly speaking against CAN regarding grading of players.
CAN had appointed Sandeep Lamichhane as the new captain upon the recommendation of a probe committee. Stating that the action taken against them should be revoked, the group led by Gyanendra Malla has not attended the closed-camp training called by CAN on Saturday.
CAN had told all the players selected in the preliminary squad to be present at a hotel for the closed-camp training. Since more than 11 players of Malla’s camp did not show up, CAN decided to begin the closed camp only from Monday.
“We held orientation at the hotel today. Closed camp training will begin on the cricket ground from Monday,” said the source requesting anonymity. “Let’s see what we can do about the players who did not turn up,” added the source.
According to the CAN source, the disgruntled players have threatened other players not to attend the closed camp training.
“We have learnt that all 30 players selected for the closed-camp training have been warned not to attend the training,” said the source, adding, “They have been warned of dire consequences. They have been threatened that their careers will be over if they did not heed the warning.”
The players who faced action are confident that they will return triumphant. The players who attended the closed-camp said that they showed up for the training with great risk, said the source.
“A small issue has been blown out of proportion. They have made this game quite dirty. CAN has already sent them letters that the action will be withdrawn. But they are not satisfied because they want the post of captain.”
Eleven players including Sharad Vesawkar, Aarif Sheikh, Asif Sheikh, Bivek Yadav, Pawan Sharaff reached the designated hotel to attend the closed-camp training on Saturday. Other players like Saurav Khanal, Sahab Alam were expected to turn up soon.
On the other hand, players including Karan KC, Avinash Bohora, Susan Bhari, Kushal Bhurtel, Binod Bhandari, Rohit Kumar Poudel and Bikram Sob along with the four players facing disciplinary action are said to have boycotted the closed camp. However, they haven’t given any official statement regarding their absence for the training.
The Group A matches of T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers will be held from February 15 to 25, 2022 in Oman. Nepal are drawn in Group A against Ireland, hosts Oman, the UAE, the Philippines, Germany, Canada and Bahrain. The top two teams from the group will secure their places in the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia. With just 44 days left for the qualifiers, the Nepali team is divided into two groups.
The Prime Minister Cup will begin from next week. The PM Cup will be held from January 9 to January 21 in Kathmandu in T20 format. The players will likely be released a day before the PM Cup, which will serve as a selection of players for the final squad.
Nepal’s 30-member preliminary squad:
Sandeep Lamichhane, Gyanendra Malla, Dipendra Singh Aire, Sharad Vesawkar, Karan KC, Sompal Kami, Mohammad Aarif Sheikh, Binod Bhandari, Kushal Malla, Kushal Bhurtel, Mohammad Asif Sheikh, Kamal Singh Aire, Sahab Alam, Sandeep Jora, Avinash Bohora, Sushan Bhari, Pawan Sarraf, Bikram Sob, Bhim Karki, Rohit Kumar Poudel, Pradeep Aire, Sulshan Jha, Nandan Yadav, Jitendra Mukhiya, Bivek Kumar Yadav, Saurav Khanal, Rajesh Pulami Magar, Kishor Mahato, Sagar Dhakal and Hari Shankar Shah.