Nepal to play its first-ever ODI in series against the Netherlands
After former associate nations Ireland and Afghanistan played their first ever Tests, another such cricketing nation will take a giant step in the international cricket scenery. Nepal, the promising Asian side, will play its first ever One Day International as a part of a two match series against the Netherlands.
As announced by the Netherlands Cricket Board (KNCB), the two matches will be played on August 1 and August 3 at Voorburg Cricket Club, just outside the more popular circuits of the Hague, and the VRA Ground in the Amsterdam suburb of Amstelveen.
It will be an important landmark in Nepal's sporting history, as was their gaining of the ODI status after finishing in the top eight in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe earlier this year, as they finished ahead of Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong. This fixture also marks the Netherlands' return to the format, they played their last ODI way back in 2014, the same year they lost the status. After winning the 2015-17 WCL Championship, they regained the ODI status.
"It's going to be a fantastic series for both countries as it will be our first ODI since regaining our status lost in 2014, it will also be Nepal's first ODI ever," Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell said. "These games also present us with another opportunity to expose our youngsters to top quality cricket and I'm excited to keep watching their development."
Prior to the series, the two sides will play in a tripleheader MCC Tri-Nation series at Lord's on July 29, with the third side being an MCC XI featuring Mahela Jayawardene as the captain and some of Scotland's best players in Mark Watt and Dylan Budge, Ali Evans and former England stars Jonathon Trott and Ian Bell.
Nepal also had talks with Scotland for the latter to invite them for an ODI series on their tour of Europe, as revealed by Scotland's coach Grant Bradburn, but given their other hosting fixtures including the high profile ones of Pakistan and England, and later participation in the tri-series with Ireland and the Netherlands meant that they ran out of the funds allocated to them for 2018 and hence the negotiations with Nepal proceeded no further.