Oman Cricket: Bonanza for Passage to India's champion players

Sports Saturday 30/April/2016 23:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Cricket: Bonanza for Passage to India's champion players

Muscat: It was bonanza time for the Passage To India (PTI) players as the team management felicitated them for winning the 50-over Premier Division League of the Oman Cricket 2015-16 season.
A beaming team boss K.K. Mohandas watched as Oman Cricket vice-chairman Ali Moosa Yousuf Al Lawati handed over the cash prizes for every individual (players and support staff) for the remarkable achievement on behalf of the PTI management.
"It's time to celebrate this achievement — we have won the Premier Division title in the very first year. This one is much sweeter than our previous triumphs in Oman Cricket League," said Mohandas.
"Every individual (be it our own players, guest players and the support staff) constituting the team need special mention for their hard work and the best part of this is that we maintained a clean slate," he added.
“This win is very special for us. We as a team have worked very hard on all aspects of the game. We have a very complete team who performed to their potential even with our primary players on international duty,” he added
PTI in the Premier Division had finished on top with 30 points (six wins and one washed-out game). Behind them in the order were Muscat CT and Assarain CT.
When Mohandas started his PTI team way back in 2010 his main motto was to provide chance to youngsters and make them knock at the door of the national team.
In order to improve the standard of the game he also brought in players from Uganda, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
"I have not always looked just for victories, but have been always committed to bring in good talent, provide them with opportunities, nurture the talent and push them to perform to their best. I love competition; only then will the level of cricket in Oman improve. I am a strong believer that with the right infrastructure, training and opportunities, Oman will go a long way in domestic and international cricket,” he said.
PTI currently has three national team players — Amir Kaleem, Amir Ali and Bilal Khan. All the three have been major contributors for Passage to India in the domestic league and for the cricket in Oman.
Oman's vice-captain Jatinder Singh also has represented PTI for three years in the past.
Amir Ali was a standout player in the national team’s recent World T20 game against Ireland.
For Mohandas, Amir, who has been PTI's match winner many-a-time, is the AB de Villiers of Oman.
“The game isn’t over as long as Amir Ali is still on the pitch,” quipped Mohandas, who says he never loses hope till Ali is out in the middle.
One of the key elements for PTI this year was the inclusion of guest player Zulqarnain Haider Syed, former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman.
Zulqarnain has been a delight to watch this season as he bolstered PTI with great catches behind the wickets and also crucial knocks to help the team out of crunch situations.
Another addition Benjamin too proved his worth and so did Bilal Bhatt (highest wicket-taker), who stood up when Bilal Khan was doing national duty.
Meanwhile, PTI captain Aamir Kaleem was all praise for his boss Mohandas and thanked him.
“This is a team which sets an amazing environment to play. Our boss comes for all our practice sessions, celebrates with us, works out strategies for every game," said the captain.
"He supports us on and off the field in cricket. We feel so great to be a part of the team and hence always give our best whenever we go out to play. He has given a lot of the boys and myself a secured lifestyle that we have nothing to worry about and give our 100 per cent to the game,” added the PTI captain, who is also preparing for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey.
"We are working hard and hope to do well in Jersey," said Kaleem.
On the other hand Amir Ali, who suffered a blow on right hand during their win against Assarain in the knock-out tournament on Friday, has cast a shadow on his sojourn with the Oman national team.
"It is a fracture and will take two weeks to recover," said Amir, but hoped to be ready for the WCL tournament.
With the national team leaving for Jersey mid-May, Amir is unlikely to play in PTI's next game.
Regarding his bowling action test in Chennai after being reported during the World T20, Amir said: "No report has come so far and according to coach (Duleep Mendis) he can continue to bowl."