Nepal set to make return to first class cricket after 14 years

Nepal last played first class cricket back in 2005 against UAE. Back then, ICC hosted Intercontinental Cup for nations who do not play test cricket providing an opportunity to play multi-days cricket. From 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC reduced the number of nations who could play Intercontinental Cup. Nepal didn't qualify to play this competition until it gained ODI status past this year. Unfortunately for Nepal, ICC seems to sack this competition showing high cost to host the tournament and less returns preventing nations like Nepal and other emerging countries to play first class cricket.

Among current squad, Paras Khadka and Sarad Veswakar are only cricketers who have played first class cricket for Nepal. Sompal Kami  is the only Nepalese player who have played first class cricket as an international player. He played for Saracens Sports Club in Premier trophy of Sri Lanka back in 2015.

MCC is touring Nepal as a part of it's legacy tour. A strong 13-man squad will be departing London for Nepal on 1st November, and will play six matches in the two-week trip including a three-day match against the Nepal national side, which has been granted first-class status.

Matches to be played at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kathmandu:
Sunday 3rd November:  v Nepal Under-19s (50 overs)
Monday 4th November: v Nepal (50 overs)
Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th November: v Nepal (first-class three-day match)
Saturday 9th November: v Mixed National Side/Under-19s (T20)
Matches to be played at the Pokhara Rangasala Cricket Ground, Pokhara:
Monday 11th November: v Pokhara Invitational XI (T20)
Tuesday 12th November: v Chief Minister’s XI (T20)
The three day match has been granted first class status by ICC which is equivalent to elite domestic three day or four day matches of countries with test status. Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground has already hosted first-class matches. Previously, it hosted matches of ICC Intercontinental Cup 2005 hosting Malaysia and UAE. This time around, it would be unique opportunity for youngsters to learn and test themselves against strong MCC squad.
- Rohan Raj Mudvari