Exclusive interview with Panchakanya Tez coach Kalam Ali

Kalam Ali

In an exclusive interview with WicketNepal, Panchakanya Tez coach Kalam Ali has expressed satisfaction over his team’s form and fitness and firmly believes he has the arsenal to lift the 20 overs WaiWai Everest Premier League tournament as well. Panchakanya Tez are the defending champions of the One Day version NPL  held two years back in Dhangadhi.

When WicketNepal reached Velocity Arena in Kathmandu on Monday, Ali was keenly involved in helping his team gain maximum out of the indoor facilities over there. Taking a short break from the sessions, he spoke  in length about his team’s prospects for the upcoming tournament.

“We have quality all rounders in our team and having that many all rounders straight away means we will have a lot of options when it comes to tackling various situations and conditions.  If you look at our team, we have the likes of Prithu Baskota, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Airee, Kushal Bhurtel – all of whom can be counted as genuine all rounders  and I think it will prove  a huge factor to maintain a balance in batting and bowing”,  he said.

Panchakanya Tez lead by Sharad Vesawkar
Panchakanya Tez lead by Sharad Vesawkar

” Going further even left arm spinner Bhuwan Karki is not a bad batsman to have lower down the order. Our captain (Sharad Vesawkar) with his great leadership is no less than an all rounder”, he concluded with a broad smile.

Ali is a former national senior team player who had represented Nepal in the ACC Trophies on 1998 and 2000.He was also a member of the U19 team which played the U19 Asia Cup in 1997.

Raj Kumar Pradhan, tthe vetran leg-spinner who took 6 wickets in the final  and joint highest 14 in the entire NPL tournament, will not be a part of Tez team this year but Ali feels his team is good enough to cover for his absence.  “It is virtually impossible for anyone to take Pradhan’s place but in the likes of Bhuwan Karki and Sushil Kandel we have two very good left arm spinners who can come up with good results”, he sounded quite content with his words there.

Speaking on his fast bowling troops, Ali was relatively satisfied, “See, we have good pacers in Karan KC and Kushal Bhurtel. Karan has the experience  of representing senior side and Burtel was good in U19. Plus our all rounders are good medium pacers so I feel we quite covered up in that front as well. We need to assess Jiendra Mukhiya’s fitness as it still remains a worry but as I said earlier, our all rounders are good enough to cover any fitness woes any time.”

Ali feels that his batting line up is well suited to make deep inroads into the tournament,” I don’t think I need to say anything about Vesawkar, apart from him we have Pushpa Thapa, Sunny Pun and Sanjay Shrestha – all of whom have proven themselves in whatever cricket they have played in. Our all rounders Aarif nd Airee are there to cover for initial overs slumps, if we have any. I feel we are a well-organized batting unit.”

He expressed his disappointment on being asked to train indoors. “See, no complaints with the guys over here but we need to understand that turf wickets and synthetic wickets are two completely different things. It is almost impossible to give your 100% while fielding over here.’

Finally Ali sounded confident when he said he can win the trophy. “Any coach anywhere in the world wants to win but if you ask me for this tournament – I am really confident. We need to be focused on our objectives. If we do that I think we can  reach the final and win it.”

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