Venkatapathy Raju to Help Nepal Prepare for World T20 Qualifier
The national cricket team of Nepal is in Dharamsala to hone their skills and will be helped by Venkatapathy Raju who played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs as a spinner between 1990 and 2001.
Former India left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju is all set to guide the national cricket team from earthquake affected Nepal during their ongoing 15-day camp in Dharamsala.
Sharing his knowledge with teams from associate members is not new to Raju, having worked with sides such as UAE and Thailand in his role of a development officer at the Asian Cricket Council.
"We have been told that Venkatapathy Raju is coming on June 11 and he will work with the boys for a week. He is going to work with our spinners and I am sure his contribution will really help us. We hear Monty Desai (coach at Rajasthan Royals) will also join us in the coming days. The BCCI has said that we will be getting help from other experts as well," Nepal head coach and former Sri Lanka player, Pubudu Dassanayake, told PTI from Dharamsala.
Dassanayake feels Raju's valuable inputs will help them prepare a good spin-heavy bowling attack ahead of the World T20 qualifiers in Scotland and Ireland next month.
"Our strength is spinners. We have got two quality left-arm spinners (Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan) and couple of off-spinners, so Raju is going to talk to them about how to adjust to the extreme conditions in the United Kingdom. Overall, we are really pleased with what the BCCI is offering," said the Kandy-born Sri Lankan, who is now based out of Canada after having represented and coached the North American side.
Captain Paras Khadka too welcomed Raju's presence in the camp.
"In India, you have all the big experts you can ask for. It is really nice Mr Raju will be here with us. We need to make the most of his inputs and prepare the best we can for the qualifier," said Khadka.
Nepal, who finished in third in the qualifier last time to secure a maiden World T20 berth, is looking to win the tournament this time. BCCI is doing its bit in its preparations, lending a help hand to the troubled neighbouring nation which was rocked by a massive earthquake in April.
"We are really happy to be here. The facilities are fantastic. Everything is in good condition and we hope to to have a productive 15 days," said coach Dassanayake.
"Last time we finished third and qualified, this time we want to win the competition. This team has kept improving in the last two years. The preparation is very important, we need to do the right things in the one month that we have," he added.