Oman is all set to co-host the T20 World Cup alongside the UAE in the Arab nation. Oman’s Al Amerat Cricket Ground is set to host the qualifiers from October 17-21. It is also one of the competing teams fighting to get to the Super 12 stage.
Now the side has another chance to make it to the main round after a few hiccups in the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE. The side lost to Jersey and Namibia before winning the Eliminator against Hong Kong to make it to the qualifiers. Once again the nation is standing on the cusp of making it to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.
Being one of the host nations Oman Cricket Chief Pankaj Khimji spoke to Sportskeeda speaking about the way forward for the country in the game of cricket. He said that the T20 World Cup gives them a great stage to showcase their talent and play alongside some of the great players of this era.
“To host a cricket mega event called the T20 World Cup, we’re getting into very deep waters. But at the same time, it’s a great moment for the country to stand out and say we will deliver. As far as we’re concerned, it’s not about Oman cricket taking on a lead, this is about Oman wanting to make a statement saying that listen, we are a great destination for cricket tourism or cricket to be hosted” he said to Sportskeeda.
In the build-up to their T20 World Cup qualifiers, Oman played the domestic Mumbai team and then Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and gathered rich experience of playing against some of the best 20 players from both teams. Oman’s Cricket Chief also acknowledged the same saying that the players can now have a different source of income with cricket gathering momentum in the country.
There are a few experienced players in the Oman squad who might make an impact in the tournament. Bilal Khan, Zeeshan Maqsood and Naseem Khushi are three players with most experience. Bilal for instance id the side’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is with 51 wickets to his name and can clock speeds upto 150 kmph.
Oman Skipper Zeeshan Maqsood To Lead The Charge
Maqsood who is the skipper of the side and also their opener is their most experienced batsman up at the top. His left-arm off-spin makes him a regular in the playing XI and thus he can perform in both aspects of the game.
Khushi is an explosive batsman in the death overs. One of his recent exploits is 26 off 9 against Hong Kong which guaranteed them a spot in the qualifiers.
Beating Ireland in the 2016 T20 World Cup and gaining ODI status in recent times only qualifies the pedigree in the team which needs to be nourished time to time.
Oman Matches In ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers
Oman vs PNG – Al Amerat Cricket Stadium – 14:00, Sunday, October 17
Oman vs Bangladesh – Al Amerat Cricket Stadium – 18:00, Tuesday, October 19 (D/N)
Oman vs Scotland – Al Amerat Cricket Stadium – 18:00, Thursday, October 21 (D/N)