Nepal will host Netherlands and Malaysia for a triangular T20I series, scheduled for April 17 to 24. The three teams will play each other twice, before the top two meet in the final. All games are going to be hosted at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in Kirtipur.
A statement issued by the Dutch cricket federation, the KNCB, said the decision to give the series the all-clear was taken "following the reduction in Covid cases and resumption of domestic competitions since December 2020" in Nepal. The players and match officials will remain in a bio-secure bubble, the statement added. The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA), said in a statement of its own that its squad "will be travelling in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) required in both Nepal and Malaysia".
"There will be mandatory PCR testing for all players and officials, and all matches will be played under strict compliance of the SOP that is in place," the MCA gave out.
Ryan Campbell, Netherlands' coach, was quoted in the statement as saying: "After not playing since November 2019, I am overjoyed at the announcement [of the series]. The boys have worked so hard for over a year with so much uncertainty on when our next match will be."
Mahinda Vallipuram, president of MCA, said: "It is indeed very pleasing to see the revival of international cricket, after a year-long drought in international tournaments. The last international match in which our team played was in 2020 between the end of February and early March, at the T20I ACC Eastern Region in Thailand. This [tri-series] is therefore a morale booster for our national team."
Netherlands named a somewhat different-looking squad for the tournament, and Campbell explained that it had been selected with a focus on youth, and players who had signed up to play county cricket were not included.
"After such a long break between international fixtures, the squad selected represents the future of Dutch cricket," Campbell said. "I am extremely happy to announce Aryan Dutt (17), our U-19 allrounder, will join Vikram [Vikramjit] Singh (18) as our two youngest tourists. These two are exciting prospects.
"Aryan can bowl offspin, medium-pace, as well as being a really special batting prospect and we all have already seen what talent Vikram has. Those two will also be joined by our very talented youngsters Bas de Leede and Philippe Boissevain.
"With the decision made not to take any of our County players, this has given us an opportunity to re-introduce Viv [Vivian] Kingma and Sebastiaan Braat into our bowling stocks and we will be looking to see how they adapt to subcontinent conditions."
Vikramjit Singh had topped the batting chart for Netherlands at the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier Europe Region tournament in 2019, with 304 runs at 60.80, including a hundred and two fifties in five innings.
The squad wasn't all about new faces, though, as familiar names like Pieter Seelaar, the captain, Ben Cooper, Max O'Dowd and Paul van Meekeren were a part of it.