Oman returns from Namibia with enhanced international status
April 30, 2019 | 7:37 PM
by Shahzad Raza
In a tournament involving USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Namibia and Papua New Guinea, Oman achieved the second position, losing to Namibia in the final

MUSCAT: Oman National Cricket team has returned home after making a huge impact on International Cricket Council’s (ICC) six-nation World Cricket League

(WCL) Division Two in Namibia.

In a tournament involving USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Namibia and Papua New Guinea, Oman achieved the second position, losing to Namibia in the final.

By winning its first four games against USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Namibia, Oman won the ICC’s coveted One-Day International status for the next two and a

half years in which it will play as many as 36 One-Day International matches and join UAE, Nepal and Scotland, along with USA, Namibia and PNG, in the ICC

Cricket World Cup League Two.

Currently as many as 105 countries are members of International Cricket Council. To its credit, Oman is now among the top 20 ODI nations and is also ranked 18 th in ICC’s T20 International rankings.

“We are proud of our team for excellent performances at international level for the last five years. Because of all the planning by Oman Cricket’s Board of

Directors under the leadership of Chairman Kanak Khimji and support from Minister of Sports Affairs Shaikh Saad Al Saadi and Oman Cricket’s Patron His

Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, we were able to achieve such fantastic results,” said an elated Pankaj Khimji, OC Board Member and the national team’s mentor and chef de mission on tour.

Competing against the highly experienced and elite Associate nations, Oman performed incredibly well in Namibia and remained on top of team standings for

much of the tournament. “We are extremely happy to have achieved the team’s main goal of winning the One-Day International status from ICC. Our team played excellent cricket for much of the tournament in Namibia and deserves all the appreciation and acknowledgement they can get. The boys truly deserve it,” said a delighted former Sri Lankan great Duleep Mendis, head coach of Oman national team.

Oman had won the ICC’s World Cricket League Division Three it hosted last year without losing a single game throughout the tournament. The Sultanate was also host to Asian Cricket Council’s GCC Championship and a high profile international Quadrangular Series involving Ireland, Holland, Scotland and Oman. Both the events received wide coverage by international media.

“Cricket glory is bringing Oman international attention, attracting international sportsmen and tourists from around the globe, putting the country firmly on the

world map for sports and tourism. This number will continue to increase in the years to come. We are proud to be able to make such a contribution to our

beloved country’s growth and development,” added Pankaj.

Team manager Madhu Jesrani, who is also Oman Cricket’s Secretary, said Oman Cricket is now focusing on making cricket popular among young Omanis and it has started to see encouraging response from the citizens.

“Our ‘Schools Cricket Development Programme’ under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education has attracted Omani children from seven to twelve-

year old and they are currently training at Oman Cricket Academy under the guidance of coaches provided by Oman Cricket. We believe the future belongs to

Omani children we may grow on to become good national cricketers,” added Jesrani.

Having received praise from International Cricket Council as a high-performing Associate nation, Oman has a busy domestic cricket calendar every year which

sees over a hundred teams in action with thousands of players and fans involved with the game all through the year. The number of players registered with Oman

Cricket continues to increase every year.

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