MUSCAT: Oman will be taking part in the Emerging Nations Asia Cup 2018 being hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka in December. This was announced by Pankaj Khimji, Senior Board Member, Oman Cricket during his address at OC’s Annual Awards Night at Al Falaj Hotel on Wednesday.
“Asian Cricket Council had announced a new tournament which has given Oman a wonderful opportunity to test itself against the big boys of Asia, like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. This is our moment of reckoning and all kudos to our boys who have played excellent cricket in the last few years,” added Pankaj, known as Oman’s voice at International Cricket Council (ICC).
Oman qualified for the tournament after finishing third, behind UAE and Hong Kong, in the Asia Cup Qualifiers 2018 held in Malaysia last month. The eight-nation tournament is contested by four under-23 teams (11 under-23 players plus four above 23) of top Test nations and four top Associate members of Asia.
Sri Lanka won the first edition of the tournament beating Pakistan in the final in Bangladesh last year.
Recounting the achievements of an eventful season, Pankaj said the highlight of the year was the unofficial opening of the Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) and the Club House of which Oman Cricket now taken possession.
“We were very fortunate to have hosted the World Cup Trophy during its inaugural tour as Oman was chosen to be the first port of call. We were also very privileged to have played the qualifying round of the Asia Cup 2018 in Malaysia in which Oman did very well. Our boys did us proud. Unfortunately, one game was rained out in which we could have got the one point we needed to have gone to the top of the ladder,” explained the OC Board member.
Pankaj also announced that OCA will be officially inaugurated during the course of Oman’s 48th National Day celebrations in November.
He thanked His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for his benevolence to Oman Cricket. He also thanks His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture and Patron-in-Chief, Oman Cricket, and Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Madhouf Al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, for their continued support to Oman Cricket in the game’s promotion.