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Oman to host PNG for bilateral series from Sunday

Sports Saturday 02/March/2024 19:34 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman to host PNG for  bilateral series from Sunday

MUSCAT: With just three months remaining until Oman competes in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, co-hosted by West Indies and the USA, the national team is all geared up for an intense season featuring one-dayers (50-over-a-side) and T20Is.

The action kicks off on March 3, Sunday, as Oman welcomes fellow Associate nation Papua New Guinea (PNG) for a bilateral series. The series, comprising two one-dayers (50-over-a-side) and three T20Is, will run until March 8 at the Oman Cricket Academy ground in Al Amerat.

Zeeshan Maqsood will lead Oman with Aqib Ilyas serving as his deputy against the PNG side. The tour commences with back-to-back one-dayers on March 3-4, followed by a series of T20Is from March 6-8.

Expressing confidence ahead of the tour, Oman head coach Duleep Mendis said, “We had a memorable 2023 where the national team distinguished itself at different world-class events. From our commendable performance at the ICC CWC Qualifiers in Zimbabwe to securing a spot in the ICC T20 World Cup for the third time and clinching the T20 Gulf Cup, our achievements speak volumes.”

Looking towards the upcoming challenges, Mendis added, “Following the successful year, we are now looking forward to bettering our performances this year. The PNG tour will launch our preparations for two major tournaments - the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in June and the ACC Premier Cup in April. These tournaments are crucial milestones for us, and our focus is on ensuring that we are well-prepared to compete at the highest level.”

Mendis emphasised the significance of the tour in preparing the team for the challenges ahead, and said, “The format of one-dayers (50-over-a-side) and T20Is proposed by the ICC will allow the teams to prepare adequately for these upcoming events. It’s essential for our players to adapt to different formats and conditions, and this tour provides us with the perfect opportunity to do so. The boys are very keen to start and do well, which will lay the foundation for a successful year ahead.”

Oman squad for one-dayers: Zeeshan Siddiqui (Captain), Aqib Ilyas (Vice-Captain), Ayaan Khan, Kashyap Prajapati, Jatinder Singh, Pratik Athawale, Shoaib Khan, Mohammed Nadeem, Bilal Khan, Kaleemullah, Jay Odedra, Samay Shrivastava, Sandeep Goud, Rafiullah, Khalid Kail, Muzahir Raza.

Officials: Head Coach: Duleep Mendis, Assistant Coach: Evert Laubscher, Analyst: Zeeshan Siddiqui, Physio: Sean Nowak, Co-ordinator: Mazher Khan, Masseur: Amjad Khan.