Sunday, November 27, 2022

Oman Cricket: Oman to host four-nation T20I series from Nov 14

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Cricket fever would continue in the Sultanate of Oman after the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as Oman Cricket is set to host a quadrangular T20I series from November 14.

A day after the T20 World Cup winners will be crowned at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Oman will host Canada, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for a T20I series at the picturesque Oman Cricket Academy grounds in Al Amerat.

Oman Cricket’s chief development officer Duleep Mendis said: “It would be a good platform to have upcoming cricket nations like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain play quality cricket against teams like Oman and Canada.

“Though our national team do not have an immediate international assignment as we have completed the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) 2 engagements, we would like to have our boys in good form and in match-playing mode.”

The T20I series will be played from November 14-21 with the top two teams in the round-robin format playing the final.

The four-nation tournament will be followed by a bilateral 50-over-a-side three-match series against Canada, a formidable side with a long history of international participation. The team qualified for the 1979 World Cup and then in 2003. A leading Associate team, the T20I and ODI matches between Canada and Oman are expected to be competitive and intense, providing a good opportunity for the domestic fans to enjoy the game.

Canada also took part in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup but has since then struggled to be at the global stage. The team has never made it to the ICC T20 World Cup.

On the contrary, Oman’s record in the T20 format is noteworthy, having qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup twice, first in 2016 and then in 2021 though they have yet to play in the ODI World Cup.

The inclusion of young Associate cricketing nations like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is an initiative of Oman Cricket to help promote the game in the region.

“We would like national teams of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to get good exposure by playing against stronger teams. There are not many matches with other international teams for them. So, we decided that it will be a positive step to get them play against us and Canada,” said Mendis, who is also Oman national team chief coach.

Oman are currently on top of the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) 2 that features seven nations.

The top three from the ongoing league with qualify for the ICC World Cup Qualifier. The other teams in fray are Namibia, USA, Papua New Guinea, UAE, Nepal and Scotland.

Oman are leading the table with 44 points after finishing their quota of all 36 games. At this stage, Scotland are next with 40 points from 28 games, USA are third with 29 from32 matches followed by UAE (27 points from 26 matches), Namibia (26 pts from 22), Nepal (17 from 20 games) and PNG (5 from 24 games).

Oman’s fate on their qualification is likely to be known by the end of December.

The ICC World Cup Qualifier will feature ten teams – bottom five of the Super League, three from WCL 2 and top two of Qualifier playoff [bottom four of WCL 2 and top-two of Challenge League].

The top two teams of the ICC World Cup Qualifier will secure a berth in the 2023 World Cup in India. 

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