Oman cricket chief con­fi­dent of na­tional team earn­ing pro­mo­tion

Times of Oman - - OMAN -

MADIHA ASIF madiha@time­so­fo­man.com

MUS­CAT: Oman host­ing the ICC Di­vi­sion 3 World Cricket League pro­vides the team an ex­cel­lent chance to get pro­moted to Di­vi­sion 2, said a top of­fi­cial at Oman Cricket, the na­tion’s gov­ern­ing body for the sport.

“Oman it­self moved from Di­vi­sion 6 to Di­vi­sion 2 un­in­ter­rupted with­out fail­ure in a mat­ter of two and a half years. We lost our way a lit­tle bit in the last tour­na­ment we played but now we have got home ad­van­tage and all the pre­req­ui­sites to make it back to Di­vi­sion 2,” said Pankaj Khimji, Di­rec­tor of Oman Cricket, while ex­clu­sively speak­ing to Times of Oman.

Oman will face five other teams in a round-robin com­pe­ti­tion from Novem­ber 9 to 19 and will face off against Kenya in the open­ing game.

Be­sides Oman, the WCL Di­vi­sion 3 com­pe­ti­tion will fea­ture the USA, Uganda, Sin­ga­pore, Den­mark, and Kenya. The two teams that fin­ish at the top of the ta­ble will be pro­moted, while the ones that fin­ish at the bot­tom will be rel­e­gated to a lower di­vi­sion.

Khimji added that he was look­ing for­ward to emerg­ing vic­to­ri­ous at the game on Novem­ber 18 against Uganda just like they’d stood vic­to­ri­ous against a match played on Re­nais­sance Day.

“In­ci­den­tally, when we beat Namibia in Scot­land to go and play in the T20 world qual­i­fy­ing stage in In­dia, it was on July 23, our Re­nais­sance Day,” he re­called.

“So, we are look­ing for­ward to mak­ing it hap­pen again on Novem­ber 18, where we would have made it to the top two po­si­tions.”

Talk­ing about prepa­ra­tion, Khimji said that they had an ex­tremely stren­u­ous task cut out for the team, keep­ing in mind the var­i­ous work­ing hours of the play­ers.

“You must un­der­stand that they work from 9am to 5pm or 7.30am to 3.30 or 4.30pm so we ac­tu­ally ask them to be at the gym or the ground at five in the morn­ing, six days a week,” he re­vealed.

“They will then go home by 7.30, take a shower, go to work, show up, put in some work, and then most of them with per­mis­sion from their re­spec­tive cor­po­rates come back at some half past three to do some crick­et­ing train­ing and some field ex­er­cises, gym and swimming pool train­ing.”

“But this time round, what you must ap­pre­ci­ate is that be­ing at an av­er­age age of 32 and 33 in a team is not as easy as be­ing young pro­fes­sional crick­eters in their late or mid-20s to de­liver re­sults,” added Khimji.

“So, what is im­por­tant is to make sure they are at least con­di­tioned and not in­jury prone. In this re­gard, we brought in an ex­pert from South Africa who has worked with them over the last three weeks mak­ing sure that we mit­i­gate the chances of in­jury due to the long du­ra­tion of this tour­na­ment,” Khimji said.

He fur­ther added that there was no ques­tion about Oman fin­ish­ing in the top two slots of the tour­na­ment.

“We are ex­tremely gung-ho and pos­i­tive in our mind­set go­ing into this tour­na­ment. I think our prepa­ra­tions and the build-up have been very pos­i­tive and good with no hic­cups as yet,” Khimji said.

“So, if all things are equal, there is noth­ing stop­ping the Oman team from get­ting the top spot or at least the number two spot.

“I am look­ing for­ward to it and I am very proud of my boys and I think my boys will not let us down.”

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