|Cricket Association of Nepal|
|ICC membership granted||1988|
|ICC member status||Associate Member with T20I Status|
|ICC development region||Asia|
|World Cricket League division||Two|
|First recorded match||v Bangladesh in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 6 September 1996|
|Twenty20 Internationals played||4|
|Twenty20 International wins/losses||2/2|
|First class cricket|
|First class matches played||4|
|First class wins/losses||2/0|
|List A cricket|
|List A matches played||12|
|List A wins/losses||4/8|
|Twenty20 matches played||23|
|ICC World Cup Qualifier|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2001)|
|Best result||First round, 2001, 2014|
|ICC World Twenty20|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2014)|
|Best result||First round, 2014|
|As of 24 January 2015|
The Nepal national cricket team is the team that represents Nepal in international cricket. They have been an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council since 1996, having previously been an Affiliate Member since 1988. Nepal were awarded Twenty20 International status by the ICC in June 2014.
Nepal made their maiden appearance in the ICC global event at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. They have been participating in international matches since 1996, including every ACC Trophy tournaments. Nepal also participated in ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2001 and 2014, ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004 and 2005, ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament in 2004, 2005 and 2006, ACC Twenty20 Cup in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, Asian Games in 2010 and 2014, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2012 and 2013 and ACC Premier League in 2014.
Unlike many other full members, associates, and affiliates, where teams are largely made up of expatriates, Nepal's national team comprises indigenous players who have usually come through the ranks playing age-group cricket.
Cricket was introduced to Nepal in 1892 by the then ruling Rana dynasty after they returned from their visits to England. The game was exclusively played among the elite back then. The Cricket Association of Nepal was formed in 1946 to promote cricket within the aristocrat community.
When the Ranas were ousted from power in 1951, cricket began to spread to the rest of the population. In 1961, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) became part of the National Sports Council, to attempt to promote cricket in the whole of Nepal, though this tended to be limited to Kathmandu until the 1980s.
Improvements to the communication and transport infrastructures in Nepal allowed the game to expand outside Kathmandu in the 1980s and Nepal became an Affiliate Member of the International Cricket Council in 1988. A major development programme was begun in the early 1990s, with regional and district tournaments established and cricket being promoted in schools.
Interest in cricket increased quickly, and demand to play was such that teams in tournaments had to be restricted until more facilities were built in the mid 90s. Nepal became an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council in 1996, which was the year the national side played for the first time, in the ACC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur, in which Nepal finished fourth out of six teams in their first round group, beating Brunei and Japan.
The facilities in Nepal had improved enough by 1998 to allow them to host that year's ACC Trophy at grounds in Lalitpur and Kirtipur (at TU Cricket Ground) and Kathmandu. Nepal themselves were unsuccessful in the tournament, going without a win.
In 2000, Nepal's youth development policy began to pay off when the Nepal Under-19 cricket team finished eighth in the Under-19 World Cup. The senior side had their best performance to date later in the year when they reached the semi-finals of the 2000 ACC Trophy before losing to Hong Kong at Sharjah. They competed in the ICC Trophy for the first time the following year. In the tournament in Ontario, they beat Germany and Gibraltar, but a loss to eventual runners-up Namibia prevented them from progressing past the first round.
Nepal were runners-up to the UAE in the 2002 ACC Trophy in Singapore and they hosted the ACC Emerging Nations Tournament in 2003, winning easily against Bhutan and the Maldives. They won so comprehensively that they were not invited back to the tournament the next time it was played in 2005. Raju Khadka became the first Nepalese cricketer to score an international century, when he slammed an unbeaten 105 off just 50 balls against Bhutan in the tournament.
Nepal played first-class cricket for the first time in 2004, playing in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against the UAE and Malaysia. They beat Malaysia, but drew with the UAE, failing to reach the semi-final stage. Nepal finished third in the 2004 ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament, which qualified them for the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, and finished 5th in the 2004 ACC Trophy, which qualified them for the repêchage tournament of the 2005 ICC Trophy. They finished third in this tournament after beating Qatar in a play-off, meaning that they did not qualify for the 2005 ICC Trophy. Shakti Gauchan scored a century against Italy and stayed unbeaten on 106 off 103 balls in the tournament. They beat the UAE and drew with Hong Kong in the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, but missed out on qualification for the semi-finals by half a point. They were runners-up to the UAE in the 2005 ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament.
In March 2006, Nepal played Namibia in Windhoek in a play-off match to decide the final team in the 2006 ICC Intercontinental Cup. Nepal needed to win outright to qualify for the main tournament, but the match was drawn after there was no play on the first day. Later in the year, they toured Pakistan, playing against the Pakistan Cricket Academy before playing in the 2006 ACC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur.
In the 2006 ACC Trophy, Nepal bowled Myanmar out for just 10 off 12.1 overs after Nepal won the toss and sent Myanmar in; no batsman scored more than one, the innings included five ducks, and extras top scored with five (three leg byes and two wides). Mehboob Alam and Binod Das picked up seven wickets and three wickets respectively. In reply, Nepal hit three off the first ball, followed by three wides that went for five, and then hit another three from the second legitimate delivery to win by ten wickets. Some critics called it the greatest mismatch in the history of international cricket and the score of 10 is the lowest in any level of men's international cricket. They finished fourth in the tournament after losing to Afghanistan in a play-off. They won the ACC Premier League in 2006.
In May 2008, Nepal traveled to Jersey to play in 2008 ICC World Cricket League Division Five of the World Cricket League. Mehboob Alam set the world record by taking all ten wickets in the match against Mozambique. He got his name in the Guinness World Records for becoming the first bowler to take all 10 wickets in an ICC international cricket match with limited overs. Nepal topped Group A after the group qualifying matches but lost to Afghanistan in the semi-final and finished third overall after defeating the USA in the playoff for third place. With only the top two from this tournament qualifying for 2008 ICC World Cricket League Division Four in Tanzania later in the year, Nepal missed out on the chance to take their 2011 World Cup dream any further. Later, Nepal appeared in the 2008 ACC Trophy Elite and finished fourth after losing to the UAE in the semi-final and to Afghanistan in the playoff for third place.
Nepal finished fifth in the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup after beating Singapore by 9 wickets in the playoff for fifth place. In a group match against Kuwait, Nepal needed 7 runs off the last ball to win. Binod Bhandari, making his debut for the national team, hit a last-ball six to tie the match. Eventually Nepal won the match in bowl-out.
Nepal won their first major tournament, beating USA in the final of 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division Five held at Kathmandu in February 2010. Sharad Vesawkar scored a century and stayed unbeaten on 105 off 134 balls against Fiji in the tournament. Nepal played very well in 2010 ACC Trophy Elite, winning all the matches in group stage and beating Malaysia in the semi-final by 8 runs but lost the final against an ODI team Afghanistan by 95 runs and finished runners-up. Nepal came third in 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division Four, thus remaining in Division Four for 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division Four. In November, Nepal appeared in 2010 Asian Games and lost against Sri Lanka in the quarter-final. It was the first match Nepal had played against a Full Member nation.
Nepal finished seventh in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier after defeating Kenya and Papua New Guinea in play-offs. Shakti Gauchan took the first international hat-trick for Nepal against Denmark in the tournament. In September 2012, Nepal appeared in 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division Four, where Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal both scored century. Subash Khakurel scored 115 off 142 balls against United States and Anil Mandal scored 113 off 134 balls against Denmark. In a match against Malaysia, Shakti Gauchan set up Nepal's convincing victory with a new record. The left-arm orthodox spinner's figures of 10-8-2-3 is the best economical bowling spell ever in limited over encounters. Nepal won all the six matches of the tournament and progressed to 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three. Nepalese players won man of the match awards in all the six matches Nepal played and Basanta Regmi won the player of the tournament award after taking a total of 21 wickets in the tournament. In October, Nepal competed in 2012 ACC Trophy Elite and had to share the trophy with the UAE after a thrilling tied final in Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE on 12 October 2012. UAE posted 241, a target that looked in Nepal's sight after their 94-run opening stand. However, they lost wickets consistently, and eventually needed 12 off the last over with just two wickets in hand. Shakti Gauchan smacked Shadeep Silva's left-arm for a six, but could manage only one run off the last ball, hence ending a splendid final match in a tie. Skipper Paras Khadka scored an unbeaten 106 off just 77 balls against Kuwait, his maiden century for Nepal, in the tournament.
Nepal competed in 2013 ACC Twenty20 Cup held at home grounds in Kirtipur and Lalitpur. Nepal easily marched towards the final of the tournament with high class performance from their captain, Paras Khadka, and the team thrashed the UAE by 6 wickets. Nepal had earlier qualified for 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, reaching the semi-final of the tournament. Nepal had to be satisfied with runners-up status after losing to an ODI team Afghanistan by 7 wickets. The Nepalese team was supported by a huge fan following throughout this tournament with an average turnout of 15,000 - 20,000 (about 25,000 in the semi-final and final) during their matches while hundreds of thousands watched live on television – undoubtedly the largest public support outside the Test-playing nations. Nepal won the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three held in Bermuda and qualified for the 2014 World Cup Qualifier. Nepal also played in 2013 ACC Emerging Teams Cup, where under-23 age level teams of the four Test nations – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka took part along with the UAE, Afghanistan and the hosts Singapore. Nepal finished third in 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier held in UAE and qualified for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, defeating Hong Kong off the last ball of the thrilling quarter-final.
Nepal missed out on qualification for the 2015 World Cup, finishing ninth in the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand in January. Nepal were the best of the three associate teams on display in Group A of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. They comprehensively beat Hong Kong, held their own with the bat against Bangladesh and pulled off a strong win against Afghanistan, their first since 2004 in any format against their old rivals. Nepal's bowlers did not bowl a single wide or no ball throughout the tournament. Nepal were also the only team to not concede 140 in an innings in the tournament. Nepal finished third in the 2014 ACC Premier League, where they beat ODI teams UAE and Hong Kong, and qualified for the 2014 ACC Championship. In September, Nepal participated in the 2014 Asian Games but failed to qualify beyond quarter-finals. Nepal won the 2014 ICC World Cricket League Division Three held in Malaysia and qualified for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two. Gyanendra Malla scored his maiden century, 114 off 125 balls, against Singapore in the tournament.
In November, Nepal toured Sri Lanka, as Sri Lanka Cricket approved a request from the ACC to support the region's Non-Test playing countries, where they played two three-day matches against Sri Lanka Cricket Combined XI. and a Twenty20 International series against Hong Kong.
Nepal finished fourth in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia and qualified for the 2015-17 ICC World Cricket League Championship. But Nepal failed to secure promotion to Division One and qualification to 2015-17 ICC Intercontinental Cup after finishing third in the the round-robin stage. Basanta Regmi became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in the World Cricket League. He achieved this feat after taking 2 wickets against Netherlands in the tournament.
On 28 June 2014, the ICC awarded T20I status to Nepal, who took part and performed exceptionally well in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Nepal had already played three T20I matches before gaining the status, as ICC had earlier announced that all matches at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 would have T20I status.
Nepal played their first ever Twenty20 International series against Hong Kong in November 2014 in Sri Lanka. Initially the series was scheduled for three matches but only one match was played because of continuous rain and poor ground conditions. Nepal lost the match but Sompal Kami put in impressive performance by scoring 40 off 31 balls, coming in at No. 10. This is a world-record for the highest score made by a batsman at that position.
|World Cup record|
|2003||Did not qualify|
|2015||Did not qualify|
|World Twenty20 record|
|2012||Did not qualify|
|T20I records versus other nations |
|Afghanistan||1||1||0||0||0||100.00%||20 March 2014|
|Hong Kong||2||1||1||0||0||50.00%||16 March 2014|
The final 14 players in Nepal's squad for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two are represented by bold.
|Name||Age||Batting style||Bowling style||C/G|
|Captain and All-rounder|
|Paras Khadka||27||Right-handed||Right-arm medium-fast, off break||A|
|Vice-captain and Top-order Batsman|
|Pradeep Airee||22||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||C|
|Naresh Budhayer||23||Right-handed||Right-arm off break||B|
|Wicket-keeper and Opening Batsman|
|Rajesh Pulami||22||Right-handed||Legbreak googly||D|
|Sharad Vesawkar||26||Right-handed||Right-arm off break||A|
|Mehboob Alam||33||Left-handed||Left-arm medium||C|
|Shakti Gauchan||30||Right-handed||Left-arm orthodox spin||A|
|Sompal Kami||18||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||B|
|Sagar Pun||21||Right-handed||Right-arm off break||B|
|Basanta Regmi||28||Left-handed||Left-arm orthodox spin||A|
|Aarif Sheikh||17||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||C|
|Amrit Bhattarai||24||Right-handed||Left-arm medium||B|
|Ramnaresh Giri||18||Right-handed||Right-arm medium fast||D|
|Karan KC||23||Right-handed||Right-arm fast||D|
|Jitendra Mukhiya||22||Right-handed||Right-arm medium fast||C|
|Bhuwan Karki||21||Left-handed||Left-arm orthodox spin||B|
|Rahul Vishwakarma||22||Left-handed||Left-arm orthodox spin||C|