Rain Washes Out Nepal vs Sri Lanka World Cup Clash, Coach Desai Looks Forward to Sandeep Lamichhane’s Return

The highly anticipated World Cup match between Nepal and Sri Lanka in the ninth edition hosted by the West Indies and the United States was abandoned due to heavy rain. With the cancellation, both teams get a point each, keeping Nepal’s Super 8s hopes alive.

Coach Monty Desai acknowledged the disappointment, stating, “We wanted a game to be honest,” but remains focused on the future. Nepal needs wins in their two remaining group matches against South Africa and Bangladesh in St. Vincent to secure a Super 8s spot.

Regarding the wet field conditions that led to the match’s abandonment, Desai acknowledged the challenges faced by the ground staff. “Initially we were having a little bit of hope, but the amount of rain and to clear all the rain – the super soakers and the manpower that they have. I think one side of the ground had a lot more water, which was not easy to get it out and it was probably not going to be easy to play the game.”

Desai expressed his desire for a full game and the return of star spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. He highlighted Lamichhane’s potential impact, especially considering the spin-friendly tracks expected in the West Indies leg of the tournament. Desai said, “Having Sandeep [Lamichhane] back in the dressing room” will be a big boost, acknowledging Lamichhane’s role in past victories.

“Sandeep had an important role to play when we qualified. He was a core member of this team when we crossed the line against UAE and also when we fought so well against Oman,” Desai noted. “In general, in the West Indies, we expect spin but I think we will have to first watch the game. I think we have an opportunity to watch the game and see what pans out, then work accordingly but Sandeep will play an important role in the team.”

With one point on the board from two games due to the rain-affected match, Desai remains optimistic about the team’s potential. “We will focus on the next game and obviously we want the sun to shine and have a proper game,” he remarked. “We possess skill sets which we believe is good enough on that particular day if presented properly to challenge in this format any teams.”

Sandeep Lamichhane
“Having Sandeep [Lamichhane] back in the dressing room” will be a big boost, acknowledging Lamichhane’s role in past victories. – Monty Desai
Desai highlighted the importance of the upcoming matches, especially against South Africa, a team Nepal has never faced before. He emphasized the hard work and preparation the team has undergone, despite uncontrollable factors like the weather. “The morale in the camp, just the way we have been training very hard – we can’t present that to people around, but we as a group together, including the coaches, we know a lot of work has been put in,” he said.

The good news for Nepal is that Lamichhane will indeed be available for the matches in St. Vincent. Their crucial clash against South Africa is set for June 15 (June 1, Nepali time) at 5:30 am Nepali time, followed by the final group stage match against Bangladesh on June 17 (June 3, Nepali time), also at 5:30 am Nepali time.

Desai downplayed the significance of the abandoned match, emphasizing the importance of maximizing the remaining opportunities. He said, “These kind of opportunities don’t come very often. You have worked hard to get into the World Cup, two games left, we want the whole two games to be played properly.”

With two crucial games left, Desai is determined to see his team leave their mark on the World Cup stage. The return of Lamichhane and the team’s adaptability to Caribbean wickets will be key factors in Nepal’s quest for a Super 8s berth.

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