Muscat: Putting your best foot forward is a key ingredient to achieve success. However, at times, even that doesn’t assure a victory. Youngsters should take defeat in their strides and what is most important is to learn the lessons from the setbacks, according to Oman Cricket’s chief development officer and former Sri Lankan captain, Duleep Mendis.
In a departure from tradition when only winners are honoured, Oman Cricket board unanimously decided to honour their U19 national team lads despite the team failing to qualify for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Division 1- Asia Qualifier.
Oman went down to Hong Kong in the semifinals of the U19 CWC Division 2- Asia Qualifier at home.
Mendis thanked the parents and the boys for fighting hard and said, “The boys represented Oman well and played very hard. They put everything in training and during the match. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s how the game of cricket it. It is a learning curve for the boys. Participation at this level will go a long way in their development.
“The more you fail at this level, or for that matter at any level, the more determined one should be to achieve goals. This is the main reason why the Oman Cricket board decided to felicitate the boys and thank the parents and coaches for their efforts.”
He said: “The way forward is that we are forming a permanent U19 squad, which will be provided training under qualified coaches throughout the year. It will help the boys make better cricketers.”
Pankaj Khimji, Oman Cricket Chairman, said: “The boys made Oman proud by representing the country. Playing for the country is the proudest moment for any cricketer. It’s been a great journey for the boys and I am sure they would have learned a lot.
“The performance and the way the team has played has made Oman Cricket reach a decision that we need to focus more on the U19 cricket. We can’t just start and stop by participating in a tournament. We have decided to have the U19 team train and prepare themselves throughout the year. Our focus will be on the U19 as much as on our national senior team.”
Adeel Shafique, coach of the U19 team, said: “We really worked very hard and just missed out on qualifying for Division 1. I was as gutted as the boys as we knew that we had put in lot of hard work over the past three months. The boys are good enough to even beat the teams in Division 1. This is a fantastic group of 18 and though we missed out, they have done their best. We are proud of the lads and they certainly have a bright future.”
Alkesh Joshi, Oman Cricket treasurer, presented awards to top performers including Aryan Bisht, who scored a total of 248 runs in five matches and picked seven wickets. Also present during the ceremony were OC vice-chairman Paul Sheridan and secretary Madhu Jesrani.