Oman's surprise factor could strike a blow to England's T20 World Cup campaign: Ayaan

Sports Thursday 13/June/2024 09:27 AM
By: Ashok Purohit
Oman's surprise factor could strike a blow to  England's T20 World Cup campaign: Ayaan

North Sound, AntiguaIn the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, Oman's dynamic all-rounder Ayaan Khan has showcased exceptional skill and determination on the field. With an impressive tally of 92 runs in three games, Khan is the highest run-getter for Oman, injecting hope, and confidence into the squad as they prepare to face defending champions England in a crucial Group B encounter at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday. The match begins at 3pm, local time and 11pm, Oman time.

Ahead of Oman’s final match, Khan assumed the role of ambassador for his team, emphasising the importance of not underestimating Oman's prowess.

In a pre-match conference held on Wednesday afternoon in Antigua ahead of team’s final training sessions, Khan said “his team is undeterred by England's must-win situation”, and asserted Oman's readiness to challenge the giants of the game.

England are in a must-win situation against Oman and not only do they have to pick up the two points at stake but also hope to win by a healthy margin to improve their net run-rate.

Asked if Oman are worried that the reigning champions will come hard at them, Ayaan replied: “We are ready and will also go out and play hard cricket. We have plans to tackle them. They may not even know much about us, and we would like to exploit the surprise factor.”

Ayaan said: “Oman have not yet won any matches so far. We are also desperate to have a win in our bag. We are looking forward to playing positive and aggressive cricket. We are aware that we have not been able to click in all departments of the game so far. Fielding has been a cause of concern in our camp, but we hope to put up a better display against England.”

The all-rounder, who hit the team’s highest 36 against Australia in the team’s second match at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, was also the second highest run-scorer (41*) during the team’s defeat to Scotland in Antigua on June 9.

Ayaan said: “Our batters have failed to gauge the playing conditions and adjust to it. Having played against Scotland at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, we hope that our batting will come good in the second game here as we are aware of the winds being a significant factor and the pitch looking good. We hope to put up an improved display in our concluding match.”

Reflecting on the team’s journey so far, Ayaan said: “The team has not reached at this stage [World Cup] by any fluke. We fought our way through the Associate nations in Asia. We began well in the opener against Namibia, but luck deserted us as we lost in the Super Over. We then even put up a good fight against the mighty Australian side.”

The all-rounder added: “We have nothing to lose against England. We are not concerned about their situation to qualify. We are only focused to play good cricket and we aren’t thinking of the big names the team boasts of. In T20 format, anything can happen in a space of six balls or one big hit. We must stay positive and back ourselves. We will try to execute our basics to perfection and hope Oman can make a history with a win.”

At this edition we have already witnessed quite a few upsets and Associate nations making a mark and we would also like to end our tour on a high on Thursday.