Muscat: The iconic ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy arrived in Muscat on Monday on a two-day visit to Oman, the first and only country in the region to have hosted the trophy.
Video: ICC Cricket World Cup trophy comes to Oman
“The World Cup trophy is on tour and on its very first leg, it came to Oman. Oman is the only country in the region, which has been chosen, and it also becomes the first country to host the trophy. We are very privileged, honoured and excited,” said Pankaj Khimji, Board member of Oman Cricket.
Oman is one of the 11 countries the trophy is visiting outside the competing countries in the most connected trophy tour ever. “With the world cricket trophy coming to Oman, it only means that now we have to go and work so much harder to see whether we can even have any dreams of holding the trophy with the team.
“At this moment in time, it means we are showcasing Oman as a destination not just for cricket but for tourism as well.
“We are showcasing this at the Royal Opera House Muscat, in the National Museum, the main palace in Muscat, and up the fort in Muttrah,” he said.
After landing at Muscat International Airport to a busy interactive session, the trophy was taken straight to the Ministry of Sports Affairs in a motorcade.
The trophy recieved a grand welcome reception at the picturesque grassy ground in Al Amerat where it was presented to the Minister of Sports Affairs in a colourful ceremony at a well-attended event.
The year has proven to be very exciting for Oman’s cricket scene. Recently, it was announced that Oman will be hosting the WCL 3 championship in November 2018.
“It’s just a few days ago we got the news that Oman will be the host to the WCL 3 championship in November this year and that is the finest achievement we have had so far,” he said.
The new cricket academy is also expected to open its doors to the public later this year. “Between September and November this year, we will find an occasion to unveil the building,” he added.
Oman’s cricket association is trying to promote the sport among the local youth as well.
“We have now gone and signed an agreement with the ministry of education, and in principle, we have agreed to promote eight to nine schools within the vicinity of Amerat to inculcate the cricket culture in the students. We hope some 300 children will participate from the schools,” he said.