A year that started with much hope and fervor culminated into a ground breaking 2016 for Oman Cricket.
From unknowns to being knowns has been the major achievement for Oman Cricket and after their show in the ICC World T20 tournament and Asia Cup grew quite a lot of curious minds, who wanted to know more about the nation and the development of the game.
From the days of cricket on cemented tracks to turf wickets and grass grounds, cricket in Oman has come a long way and making history on world stage has been the icing on the cake.
In addition to the monumental success of the National side that participated in the Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup T20 in March 2016, the side also made huge stride in the 50 over format, leaping up two divisions to the World Cricket League 3.
The year’s efforts have turned Oman cricketers into heroes with every scribe present in awe of Oman’s win over Ireland. Never would anyone have imagined the likes of Tendulkar, Lara, Ashwin and company tweeting about Oman Cricket – all that changed in 2016. For a change the focus of the world was Oman and the reason being cricket.
In addition, domestic participation rates soared with the local population’s awareness of the game at an all time high. Everyone is now curious to know more about the players – where are they from? What are their names?
Especially the guy who took that catch.
The WT20 marked the first time any sporting team from Oman has represented the nation is a global World Cup sporting event.
2016 has seen the players in the national set up make the switch from amateurs to semi professionals – with many securing deals with foreign domestic teams in the UK and participating in a high-performance tour at Lords.
“We are all one … we play for one nation … we are determined to do well,” says Coach Duleep Mendis. “Be it India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we have many things in common and at the same time cricket is in our blood.” His thoughts are echoed my Oman Cricket director Pankaj Khimji, who emphasized his team will bleed red for Oman and do it for the nation.
As of 2016, Oman Cricket has been upgraded as a non-Test playing full member of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). A decision to this effect was taken during the 2016 ACC General Assembly.
On their recent visits to Oman, both Sri Lankan Cricket president Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala and ICC official Iqbal Sikander spoke of their admiration of the development progress and the picturesque turf grounds in Amerat. They were both vocal advocates stating that Oman should get more support to take the game forward, including the rights to host international tournaments.
With all the foundations of success in play, government support and an efficient and decisive organization structure – the future looks bright.
We would like to thank all our supporters and well wishers for making 2016 an unforgettable year. We couldn’t have done it without you and call on your support again to move on to bigger and brighter pastures.
Long may the growth of Cricket in Oman continue.
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