Oman confident of good show at home

Sports Monday 26/September/2022 18:32 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman confident of good show at home

Muscat: Over the past few months, the Oman Cricket Academy Ground has been a witness to hours and hours of training session by a bunch of talented youngsters. The national U19 boys, under the guidance of their coach Adeel Shafique and Oman’s Cricket’s chief development officer Duleep Mendis, have set their sights on securing a berth in the final round of the 2023 Asia Qualifier of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

To advance to the final round, hosts Oman and seven other nations will vie for the two spots available at the forthcoming ICC U19

Asia Division 2 Qualifiers, beginning at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds in Al Amerat from September 29-October 7.

Besides Oman, the other nations in fray are Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand.

Having kept a close eye of the boys training and progress, Mendis, who is also the national men’s team chief coach, said: “It is a

very crucial tournament for the youngsters. We are fortunate to host the eight-nation qualifier on our home grounds. Over the past few months, I have been keeping a close eye on the progress of the boys. Coach Adeel has been working hard with them and the boys are shaping well.”

Mendis said that he is “confident of his boys performing well on their home ground.”

“It is a big opportunity for the boys to qualify for next year’s Asia Qualifier. The boys are aware that a solid show at home will give

them a big boost and bring joy to their families and the nation. A seat in the final round will be a big bonus for them,” he added.

Mendis said, “This age-group is a crucial time in a cricketer’s career. We know few of the boys will opt out for their higher studies and will not be available for the national team selection. But we are hopeful few will stay back and they will constitute the back-up for our senior team. U19 is a feeder system for the national team. Our emphasis has been to promote and groom young talent. If they

perform then they have a good chance to be draft into the national side. We already have few youngsters on our radar.”

Coach Adeel Shafique is hopeful that his boys will exhibit entertaining brand of cricket and have the ability to make it to the next round. “We had good preparations for this tournament with focus on playing many practice games. The boys have worked

tirelessly and their efforts have been amazing. The practice matches have done a world of good. Simulating match-like situations is key for the youngsters. They have put the hard yards and it is now time for them to perform," he said.

“It is a great opportunity for the boys to showcase their talent. Quite a few of the youngsters have aspirations to play for men’s

team and this is a nice platform for them to prove,” he added.

Ahead of the tournament, Oman defeated Singapore in a warm-up match on Saturday.

Oman meet Bhutan in the opening clash of the Division 2 Qualifier on September 29. Matches will be played at both the Oman

Cricket Academy grounds.

The top-two teams in the Division 2 Qualifier will join already-qualified Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE in the Asia Qualifier in 2023.

U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 qualification process

A total of 16 teams will be competing at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

Eleven teams have automatically qualified for the event as the best-placed Full Member nations from the previous event in 2022.

These are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The remaining five spots will be determined through regional qualification pathways, with one team from each region securing a place at the event.

The Africa, Asia and Europe regions will each have a two-step qualification structure. These regions will host Division 2 Qualifiers in 2022 to determine the teams that will compete in the second and final qualifying event, the Regional Qualifier in 2023. 

Only the winning teams from the Regional Qualifiers will qualify to compete at the U19 Cricket World Cup.

Division 2 Qualifier in Muscat

Group A: Oman, Bhutan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia

Group B: Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar, Singapore

Fixtures: September 29: Oman vs Bhutan; Bahrain vs Saudi Arabia

September 30: Qatar vs Singapore; Hong Kong vs Thailand

October 1: Bhutan vs Bahrain; Saudi Arabia vs Oman

October 2: Thailand vs Singapore; Hong Kong vs Qatar

October 3: Bhutan vs Saudi Arabia; Oman vs Bahrain

October 4: Thailand vs Qatar; Singapore vs Hong Kong

October 6: Semifinal 1 (A1 vs B2); Semifinal 2: (B1 vs A2)

October 7: Third place playoff; Final.