Oman Cricket: Oman to host Afghanistan A cricket team for bilateral series

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Photo Credit: Oman Cricket

Oman national cricketers will have a “perfect” buildup to the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier later this month in Nepal with a bilateral series against Afghanistan A (AfghanAbdalyan) scheduled to be played at the Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) grounds in Al Amerat from 12-23 October.

This will be the first time Oman will host any Afghanistan national side and the tour will include two 50-over-matches and five T20 games.

Speaking on the upcoming visit of Afghanistan A squad to Oman, Oman Cricket Chairman Pankaj Khimji said: “Afghanistan’s rise in the cricket world is an example. The tour of the A squad, which also comprises few players who have already played for the national side will be a good match practice for our boys ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Nepal.

“Our boys have just started the domestic season and we wanted to provide them with quality matches and Afghanistan A will be a good test for them.”

Khimji added: “The visit also assumes significance as this is the first time the Afghanistan Cricket Board has sent its squad and the visit will help strengthen our bilateral relations with them.”

In a statement to the media, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman Mr. Mirwais Ashraf: “We are committed to providing more playing opportunities for the AfghanAbdalyan squad, which includes top domestic players, to gain international exposure and be prepared for national call-ups when necessary. This series is an excellent opportunity for the players to demonstrate their skills and make the most of it. Oman is a strong team, and I am hopeful to witness an entertaining series of competitive cricket.”

Oman head coach Duleep Mendis said: “This is a perfect buildup for our boys as we aspire to book our spot in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. We have the Asian Qualifier in Nepal, starting on October 30 and we hope to finish among the top two in the eight-nation tournament to qualify.

“Oman had a good run in the T20 World Cup as we have made it to the global event twice in 2016 and 2021. We hope to make it this time at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA. As part of our buildup plans, we want to give our boys good preparations ahead of the Qualifier in Nepal. Afghanistan A squad comprises few T20 internationals and it would be a good exercise for our players.”

ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said: “It is a significant achievement for the Afghanistan Cricket Board to have maintained strong bilateral ties with other cricketing nations. We are committed to continuing efforts to expand and improve the game, and hope that all players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and create good memories during this tour.”

“Oman remains our close cricketing friend country where cricket has been making significant progress, the same as the game progressed in Afghanistan. The upcoming tour between the two countries is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two nations and promote the growth of cricket in both countries,” he added.

Zeeshan Maqsood will lead Oman’s squad as he returns to the team after recovering from his injury. The hosts will go into the series high on confidence after the national team recently won the inaugural Gulf T20I title.

Mendis declared the squad for the two 50-over games that will be played on 12 October 12 and 15 October. The coach will announce the T20 squad later with the five-match T20 series to be played on 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd of October.

50-over-match Oman team: Zeeshan Maqsood, Aqib Ilyas, Ayaan Khan, Kashyap Prajapati, Shoaib Khan, Mohammed Nadeem, Khalid Kail, Pruthvi Machhi, Jay Odedra, Kaleemullah, Pratik Athawale, Bilal Khan, Hemal Tandel, Samay Shrivastav, Sandeep Goud. 

Head Coach: Duleep Mendis, assistant coach: Evert Laubscher, fast bowling coach: Champaka Ramanayake, coach co-ordinator: Mazher Saleem Khan, analyst: Zeeshan Siddiqui, physio: Sean Nowak.

AfghanAbdalyan’s squad: Shahidullah Kamal (captain), Noman Shah (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Ihsaq Rahimi (wicketkeeper), Abdul Malik, Noor Ali Zadran, Zubaid Akbari, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Rahmanullah Zadran, Asif Musazai, Izharulhaq Naveed, Zia Ur Rahman Akbar, Naveed Zadran, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai and Wafadar Momand.

AfghanAbdalyan’s T20 squad: Shahidullah Kamal (captain), Afsar Zazai (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Shahzad (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Sediqullah Atal, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Samiullah Shinwari, Karim Jannat, Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai, Nangyal Kharoti, Qais Ahmad, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Mohammad Saleem Safi, Wafadar Momand, Nijat Masoud, and Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai.

Tour schedule: 50 overs: 12th October: Oman vs Afghanistan A, 15th October: Oman vs Afghanistan A (both matches start at 2pm)

T20s: 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 23rd October: Oman vs Afghanistan A (all matches start at 2pm)

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