“How typically does an Affiliate nation get to host a World Cup?” Pankaj Khimji, the chief government of Oman Cricket instructed cricinfo.com.
“I am instructed by Star Sports activities (the host broadcasters) that this may transform the third-largest televised sporting occasion of all time, doubtlessly reaching an viewers of three to three.5 billion folks.
“Even when Oman will get a billion folks watching the primary six video games, and showcases itself simply to the Indian subcontinent, it is huge.”
The grass pitches of the three,000-seat Al Amerat web site are a great distance from the times when cricket was first performed within the sultanate, typically on waste floor by groups rapidly assembled from visiting navy ships.
Oman are enjoying within the T20 World Cup for the second time after a 2016 debut noticed them stun Eire at spectacular Dharamsala.
Ranked 18 on this planet, they’ve to barter a qualifying spherical which incorporates Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Scotland to get into the Tremendous 12 which is being performed solely in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Even when solely six first spherical video games are staged in Oman, the stakes are excessive.
In addition to the status of being within the combine with the likes of India and Pakistan, making the second stage will give Oman a spot within the 2022 T20 World Cup.
The staff is coached by former Sri Lanka Take a look at skipper Duleep Mendis whereas the 15-man squad is made up virtually completely of expatriates with Sufyan Mehmood the one Oman-born participant.
They’re additionally semi-professional which suggests many will prepare at 5:30 within the morning, put in a full day’s work and return for extra cricket within the cooler night temperatures.
Oman’s current cricket historical past has been a roller-coaster trip — they have been enjoying in Division 5 of the ICC World Cricket League as lately as 2016.
They achieved ODI standing in 2019 however have been the final staff to verify of a spot within the T20 World Cup which was chased out of Australia after which India by Covid-19.
To safe their place, they defeated Hong Kong by 12 runs in a sudden-death play-off, defending solely 134.
In six years of enjoying worldwide T20s, Oman have misplaced 19 of 36 matches — two wins over Eire punctuated by a house defeat to Qatar in February 2020.
In opposition to Scotland in a house ODI in 2019, they have been bowled out for simply 24 with six of their batsmen dismissed with out scoring.
Oman have additionally failed to flee controversy with former participant Yousuf Abdulrahim Al-Balushi banned for seven years by the ICC in 2020 on 4 counts of corruption.
Regardless of these highs and lows, Oman have a core of reliable match-winners who can be key if they’re to be one of many groups from their pool to make the latter phases of the World Cup.
Aqib Ilyas has struck two centuries and 6 fifties in his worldwide profession whereas Jatinder Singh is Oman’s prime scorer within the format with 697 runs.
Left-arm seamer Bilal Khan, in the meantime, has 51 wickets at a median of simply over 16.