Images of unprecedented crowd in Nepal for ODI against UAE go viral

TU International Cricket Stadium in Kathmandu well over capacity on Thursday

The TU International Cricket Stadium in Kathmandu was well over capacity for the Cricket World Cup League 2 match between the UAE and Nepal on Thursday, March 16, 2023. Subas Humagain for The National
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Thursday's Cricket World Cup League 2 clash between Nepal and the UAE had a lot riding on it, so it came as no surprise that the crowd poured in to watch the ODI.

Nepal had retained their ODI status earlier when they crushed the UAE by 177 runs in their previous game in Kathmandu. On Thursday, both sides were playing for bigger rewards down the road.

The UAE are already set to play at the World Cup Qualifier Play-off in Namibia, which starts later this month. If they beat Nepal today, both sides will move to the tournament in Windhoek.

However, if the Nepal secure victory, they will advance directly to the global World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in the summer.

Given the importance attached to the game, supporters took up every single available spot at the TU International Cricket Stadium in Kathmandu. The capacity of the venue is around 18,000 but well over that number crowded the grass embankments around the ground. Many thousands more were seen outside the ground.

However, it was the UAE who took the initiative in the all-important game. Captain Muhammad Waseem and young batsman Vriitya Aravind hit quick fifties, before Asif Khan smashed a UAE record 41-ball century to propel the team to 310-6.

Updated: March 16, 2023, 10:59 AM