Oman to host ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup division 2 qualifiers

Sports Tuesday 06/September/2022 20:10 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman to host ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup division 2 qualifiers

Muscat: Arjun Dhiman has been named captain of the Oman squad for the forthcoming ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) Division 2 Qualifiers.

The eight-nation qualifying tournament will be played at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds from September 29-October 7.

Oman are placed along with Bhutan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in Group A while Group B comprises Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar and Singapore. The two finalists of Division 2 will progress to the final round of Asia Qualifier. They will join Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and UAE who are already granted a place in the final stage of qualification.

The winner of the final round of Asian Qualifier will book a place in the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup in 2024.

Arjun is one of the most experienced youngsters in the squad and has been part of the Premier Division season for the past couple of years. Oman Cricket selectors and head coach Adeel Shafique picked a squad that boasts of maximum number of allrounders.

Aditya Gurmukhi, another youngster who has been playing in the Premier Division, has been appointed as the team’s vice-captain.

Both Arjun and Aditya are off-spinners and strokeful batters.

Besides the skipper and his deputy, the team revolves around allrounders with Lakshmi Narayana one of them.

The teenager shone with the bat last season when he hammered a record unbeaten 213 in an inter-school match [30-overs-a-side].

A handy leg-spinner, he will be joined by couple of other leg-spinners in Prateish Ramesh and Ashish Kumar, the latter being a right-arm leggie and a left-handed batter.

The team’s spin attack is bolstered by Glen Menezes, who has tasted good success at the school cricket level and with national U16 side.

Experienced Siddh Mehta’s off-spin will be one of the ingredients in the national team’s attempt to win the group and finish among the top-two teams to qualify for the final round of Asian Qualifiers. Siddh is also a useful middle order batter and brings along a lot of experience, having played along with senior cricketers over the past few seasons.

Another off-spinner in the side is Tanuj Sivakumar, whose batting skills have been honed in the domestic A Division league last season. Aryan Bisht completes the line-up of allrounders.

Born in Muscat, Aryan has been playing competitive cricket in the Indian state of Uttarakhand for the past couple of years.

Rahil Habibulla is the lone wicketkeeper and the batting keeper has been among runs in the domestic cricket with a tidy showing behind wickets.

The pace battery is led by Mohammed Arafat Islam, whose raw pace has impressed the coaches. Another pacer who will shoulder lot of responsibility is Devansh Loya. The lanky seamer has made good use of his height [6’3] while picking up wickets on the local school circuit and is considered to be one of compact batters in the squad with couple of centuries under his belt.

Ahmed al Zadjali is another bright prospect included in the team and the only Omani will be hoping to make his debut for his country. A trainee at the Oman Cricket Academy for the past three years, he is a promising hope. Oman Cricket’s endeavour to make the national team all inclusive has met success with the drafting of Ahmed, a young and passionate medium pacer.

The pace quartet is completed by Chaitra Thanki, the most experienced fast bowler, who is also playing in the Premier Division.