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GyanendraMalla

Rohit Paudel takes Nepal vice-captaincy after Gyanendra Malla omission

Nepal News

By Daniel Beswick

Hit For Six!
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Gyanendra Malla's career in the blue and red of Nepal is on tenterhooks after he was left out of the team's Cricket World Cup League 2 squad to travel to the USA.

Malla was left out of Nepal's home T20s and One Day matches against a Zimbabwe A touring party, and the omission from the squad eager to secure an automatic spot at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier next year shows the top order batter is not in the plans of re-appointed coach Pubudu Dassanayake.

> Watch Nepal, Oman, Scotland, UAE and USA battle for Cricket World Cup League 2 points - live and FREE on ICC.tv

Nepal take on the USA and Oman in a tri-series from June 9, and are still just a third of the way into their 36-match League 2 campaign, sitting in sixth spot.

Malla's omission also means that the team have appointed a new vice-captain in Rohit Paudel to deputise Sandeep Lamichhane, with the leg-spinner taking over from the 31-year-old back in December.

The right-hander first appeared for the senior national team back in 2006 after an impressive showing at the ICC Under 19 World Cup earlier that year. He appeared in Nepal's first official T20I in 2009 and their first official ODI in 2018 against the Netherlands, eventually taking the captaincy in 2019 after Paras Khadka's retirement.

Malla has made three half-centuries in Nepal's League 2 campaign thus far, though his 286 runs have come at an under-par average of 28.60. His plights have not been in solitude however, with Paudel (249 runs at 35.57) the only Nepali player averaging over 30 in the competition of those to play at least three matches.

Video ICC Men’s T20WC Qualifier A 18 Feb 22
Nepal v Oman | Match Highlights | ICC Men’s T20WC Qualifier A

Nepal have used 23 players in the dozen matches during the campaign, with Lamichhane and all-rounder Karan KC the only players to feature in every match. Despite the extensive changes, batting has long been the issue of the side, who have struggled to capitalise on strong bowling performances. 

Gyanendra's namesake Kushal Malla also missed out on selection, with Pawan Sarraf and Bhim Sharki - two players who featured in Nepal's last ODI - also not making the squad of 15.

Sunil Dhamala has earned a recall to the side, while Mohammad Aadil and Kishor Mahato could make their debut on the tour. 

Moosa Stadium in Texas will host two consecutive tri-series, with Scotland and UAE also visiting in the week prior to matches featuring Nepal and Oman.

Nepal Squad: Sandeep Lamichhane (c), Aasif Sheikh, Kushal Bhurtel, Rohit Paudel, Dipendra Singh Airee, Aarif Sheikh, Binod Bhandari, Sunil Dhamala, Dev Khanal, Mohammed Aadil, Karan KC, Sompal Kami, Bikram Sob, Kishor Mahato, Sagar Dhakal

League 2 ODIs

FREE on ICC.tv: Live Matches and Highlights as 7 Teams Chase a Spot at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup

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