Muscat: All set to embark on an ambitious mission, Oman's national cricket team's manager Jameel Zaidi is confident of his team leaving a long lasting impression on the world stage.
"We have had terrific and tough preparations since qualifying for the World Twenty20 and I have a strong belief that Oman can cause a flutter on big stage," said the Karachi-born Zaidi in a chat with Times Sport.
"Our team is full of talented players and it all squares down to mental application," he pointed out.
"If we can exhibit the same cohesion and determination that we witnessed during the qualifiers, I don't understand why we can't beat those teams which we have defeated before," he added.
"Knowing yourself and your capabilities and having self-belief is always one of the hardest skills to develop as both a person and player and once you succeed in this aspect anything is possible in game of cricket," Zaidi, who himself has played a lot of cricket in Pakistan and beyond, said.
"We have given importance to counselling sessions as we understand that the players need to prepare mentally more as positive mindset can help them in their performance," Zaidi, who has been taking care of all the logistics pertaining to the team, said.
Zaidi went on to say that this aspect had helped the players during the qualifiers.
"When we went for the qualifiers, the prime focus was to acclimatise as we were approaching freezing conditions after having trained in scorching summer here. Thanks to Cork County Cricket Club we had the best facilities to train and that helped our boys to become psychologically strong. This confidence reflected in the results," he detailed.
"This determination is what I expect from the boys again as Twenty20 is a game of fluctuations and on a given day the best all-round team wins," he said. "There is no point in instilling fear while facing teams, who have achieved more than us."
On batting worries in recent tours, Zaidi brushed aside concerns and said: "It is all in the mind. If they start focussing things will change for the good."
Stepping aside, Zaidi gave 50-50 chance for Oman to progress in the World T20 in March, but he was confident of making the main round of Asia Cup, which will be held in Bangladesh mid-February.
"We have beaten Afghanistan, Hong Kong and UAE (the teams Oman face in the Asia Cup qualifiers) before and I believe we can do a riposte in Bangladesh too," Zaidi said, adding: "Winning a chance to play the big boys of Asia will boost our preparations."
Zaidi hailed coach Duleep Mendis and his team of bowling coaches Rumesh Ratnayake and Sunil Joshi for fine tuning the boys.
"I also want to stress that fielding skills are vital in T20s and I can vouch that we have a good fielding unit now, thanks to the expert guidance of fielding coach Vijay Bharadwaj," he added.
"All our players are physically fit and raring to go and in eventuality we have a strong back up of players who would fit easily into the shoes," he said, at the same time thanking physio J. Premnath and trainer Dr. Manjunath.
Zaidi also praised Omani players, who are improving by leaps and bounds.
Meanwhile, the team manager extended gratitude to Oman Cricket Board for all the support.
"They have done a lot for the team and we have got all that the team wanted. I thank chairman Kanak Khimji, Pankaj Khimji and Madhu Jesrani for their strong support," Zaidi signed off.
Oman’s fixtures at Asia Cup: Feb 19: Hong Kong v Oman at Fatullah; Feb 20: Afghanistan v Oman at Fatullah and Feb 21: Hong Kong v UAE, at Fatullah.
At ICC World T20: March 9: Oman vs Ireland at Dharamsala; March 11 Oman vs The Netherlands at Dharamsala; March 13: Oman vs Bangladesh at Dharamsala.