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Singapore will be without key bowlers, Jackie Kumar and Riaz Hussien, due to work commitments, for the ACC Trophy Elite tournament starting in Kuwait on Wednesday.
Kumar, the 22-year old slow left-arm bowler, was Singapore's leading wicket-taker (11) at the World Cricket League Divison Five tournament in Nepal in February while allrounder Hussien, took seven wickets in his country's Division Six triumph last September.
They are among six changes to the Division Five squad which was controversially denied promotion after a riot in the match between the United States and Nepal.
Singapore captain Munish Arora played a dead bat to suggestions his team may place special emphasis on their match against Nepal on May 3. "We are waiting for the outcome of the ICC decision, so we are focusing on the job on hand - to do well in the ACC Trophy and keep our motivation going irrespective of whom we are playing."
It is a match Singapore will probably have to win if they are to reach the ACC Trophy semi-finals for the first time, Nepal has been victorious in the last three encounters between the teams (including a Twenty20 match). Arora said he was confident his team could close the gap. "Nepal has got the better of us in the last few close games, but there is not much difference in the two teams. We need to focus on our all-round game to get the results in our favour."
Singapore must get over other teams though as Group A also features defending ACC Trophy champions, Hong Kong, hosts Kuwait and the unpredictable ACC Twenty20 semi-finalists, Oman. Their opening game is against Kuwait on March 31.
Singapore: Munish Arora (capt), Muhammad Ali, Narender Reddy, Chetan Suryawanshi (wk), Shoib Razak, Dharmichand Mulewa, Pramodh Raja, Buddhika Mendis, Saad Janjua, Sagar Kulkarni, Irfan Madakia, Varun Varman, Manbhir Singh Philip Childs; Coach - Marvan Atapattu.
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