Kathmandu, Feb 18 (RSS): The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women Asia Qualifier games are kicking off in Thailand from tomorrow.
The competitions under this qualifier are the initial steps for the Asian countries towards the T-20 World Cup to be held in 2020 and the 50-overs World Cup being organised in 2021.
Seven countries from Asia are participating in the qualifier. Nepal, the UAE, Malaysia, China Hong Kong and Kuwait along with the organizer Thailand are playing under the Round Robin League. Each team will play six games.
This qualifier is the first gateway to get to the World Cup. The team which is at the top of the score table after playing with each other in the qualifier will be selected for the Global Qualifier - and that also for two World Cup Qualifiers.
Nepal's national women cricket team which became the first runner-up team in the T-20 Smash Cricket Championship held in Thailand is going for the World Cup Qualifier tournament with high motivation despite short preparation time before going to Thailand again to play in the qualifier matches.
Although the games under the qualifier are taking place from today, Nepal will play against Malaysia on Tuesday in its first match. Nepal will take on Thailand in its second match on February 21. It will play against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its second match on February 22, against Hong Kong on February 24, against China on February 25 and against Kuwait on February 27.
The winner of the qualifiers to be held on Round Robin basis will be selected for the ICC Women T-20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.
Nepal has played against Thailand, UAE, China and Malaysia in the T-20 Smash Championship held in Thailand last month. Nepal, which was undefeated in the group stage, defeated Indonesia in the semi-final and entered the final. It was defeated by Thailand in the final.
The host Thailand has been seen as the main contender to reach the Global Qualifier. This time, it is expected that the countries like Nepal and UAE would give a hard fight to Thailand.
This qualifier would determine the raking of participating countries. Thailand is in the 12th position, UAE in the 14th and Nepal in the 16th in T-20 Ranking.
A total of 27 countries including seven from Asia, nine from Africa, six from Oceania, three from Europe and two from America would compete in first-phase selection.
A 14-member Nepali cricket team at the captainship of Rubina Chhetri left here for Thailand on Saturday for the same. Sita Rana Magar (Vice-Captain), Sarita Magar, Neri Thapa, Indu Barma, Sonu Khadka, Arati Bidari, Kajal Shrestha, Roma Thapa, Kabita Kunwar, Apsara Begam, Mamata Kumari Chaudhari and Bindu Rawal are in the team.
Similarly, Binod Das and Nira Rajopadhaya are the chief coach and assistant-coach of the team, respectively.