Oman can still qualify for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India – but the road ahead is long.
They may be considered minnows in an otherwise competitive sporting environment, but Oman’s growth in cricket has astonished experts, cricket buffs, and supporters alike. And even as they’ve sealed a spot for Round 1 of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, they’re embarking on a long journey to fight for a berth in the prestigious 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
The Sultanate has already kick-started proceedings in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 competition – largely considered pre-qualifiers for the main qualifier event – with three wins from its four matches to be placed fourth among six teams.
But having played only four matches from its first tri-series, it’s likely the tables will change favourably for Oman.
In the process, Oman will host Namibia and United Arab Emirates – two teams from the associate world – and test them in the one-day international (ODI) format on home soil.
The matches are scheduled to be held in Muscat from January 5 to 12, 2020 – and the teams will compete to collect enough points to set themselves in the top two of the Cricket World Cup League 2 list.
Oman is also scheduled to participate in nine tri-series in a long qualification process until 2022. The top three teams with maximum points will advance to the 10-team World Cup Qualifier tournament in 2022, which will see its top two sides qualifying to play in the World Cup in India.
Oman played its first three-nation series in Scotland against the hosts and Papa New Guinea (PNG), returning with six valuable points after beating Scotland once and PNG twice.
In an interview with media, Duleep Mendis, the head coach of Oman said: “Oman needs to continue playing well. We had a good start to our qualification campaign in Scotland and we are looking forward to another successful series on our home soil.
“This series is happening in the middle of our domestic season. After a short break from international cricket, all our boys are in good form and raring to go. We are expecting a cracker of a series against UAE and Namibia which are both excellent sides,” Mendis added.
Veteran Zeeshan Maqsood will be leading a formidable Oman team packed with quality all-rounders. The hosts will be counting on its battery of fast bowlers who have impressed the nation on home soil.
Seen as the ‘next big thing’ on cricket’s world stage by ICC, Oman has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years with a stupendous 2019 laced with a lot of activity, honours and accolades.
Series schedule (all matches at Oman Cricket’s grassy ground 1 in Amerat):
January 5: Oman vs UAE
January 6: UAE vs Namibia
January 7: Rest day
January 8: Oman vs Namibia
January 9: Oman vs UAE
January 10: Rest Day
January 11: UAE vs Namibia
January 12: Oman vs Namibia
Oman squad: Zeeshan Maqsood (captain), Aqib Ilyas, Jatinder Singh, Khawar Ali, Sanuth Ebrahim, Suraj Kumar, Muhammed Naseem, Sandeep Goud, Muhammed Nadeem, Jay Odedra, Baadal Singh, Ahmed Fayyaz Butt, Kaleemullah, Bilal Khan
Officials: Chef de Mission – Pankaj Khimji. Manager – Madhu Jesrani. Coach – Duleep Mendis, Assistant Coach – Mazhar Saleem Khan, Trainer: Everhardus Laubscher. Video Analyst – Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui. Physio – Jaganathan Premnath