HARARE — Dutch victory over Hong Kong in Zimbabwe yesterday, coupled with Nepal’s win against Papua New Guinea, means that the Himalayan nation make history
Nepal have achieved one-day international (ODI) status for the first time ever.
Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong both lose ODI status, however, and will drop into World Cricket League Division Two.
Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Airee took four wickets apiece at the Old Hararians Sports Club as Nepal dismissed their opponents for 114 in 27.2 overs before knocking off the runs with six wickets to spare.
When the Netherlands then saw off Hong Kong, bowling the Asian side out for 130 to claim a 44-run win, Nepal were guaranteed ODI status.
The ICC has cut the number of Associate nations allowed to have such status down from six to four, keeping the number of countries in the ‘elite’ group at 16 following the promotion of Ireland and Afghanistan to Full Members.
Here’s how Nepal’s magical day started.
The three highest-ranked Associates at the World Cup Qualifier were to get ODI status until 2022, and Scotland and the UAE achieved that by reaching the competition’s Super Sixes phase.
While Nepal still have to face the Dutch in the seventh-place play-off later in the week, the fact the Netherlands have already claimed their ODI place by winning the World Cricket League Championship at the end of last year means they do not need to win to secure their seat at the table.
The achievement represents the culmination of an extraordinary ride for Nepal, who in 2008 were playing alongside Afghanistan, Jersey, Germany and Vanuatu, among others, in WCL Division Five.
Papua New Guinea, meanwhile, will take on Hong Kong in the World Cup Qualifier ninth-place play-off on Saturday.
The match is the 4 000th one-day international of all time and the last for both countries until at least 2020.
The game between Nepal and the Netherlands, in a curious quirk that neatly sums up the entire Associate cricket scene, will only be classed as List A.