Men’s and Women’s squads from host country Nepal and Maldives, along with men’s national squad of Bhutan were the Associate member participants in the cricket category in the men’s and women’s sections in the 2019 South Asian Games held at Tribhuvan University ground (Men’s) and Pokhara Rangashala (Pokhara).
The Associate members got the rare opportunity to compete alongside national squads (women’s) from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, while their U23 squads participated in the men’s category. The pre-tournament prediction would have been to see the regional heavyweights dominating both the categories in cricket, and it happened in the exact manner as was predicted.
Nepal was expected to give a good run for money to both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in both the categories, but their challenge fizzed out by a country mile during the group stages of the competition. For Maldives, participating in their first ever major International event against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal was always going to be a tough outing, and while the results showed the exact expected outcomes, it’s the experience that they had during the matches will help them in their growth in the future regional ACC level tournaments in the coming years.
Bhutan participated only in the men’s category and much like Maldives were experiencing International level competition alongside full member development squads, and will take home much positives to work upon for future ACC level regional tournaments.
Nepal settled for the bronze medal in both men’s and women’s categories after defeating Maldives for the 3rd/4th play-off match in both the segments.