Sultan to lead Oman in first home series against USA

IMG-20170511-WA001His success with the national team over the past couple of years has made Sultan Ahmed a dependable captain, a fact even the Oman Cricket (OC) selectors seem to believe, as they retained him as the skipper for the forthcoming ODI series against the visiting US, starting on December 4.

Sultan, the national team skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman of Passage to India (PTI) in Premier Division League, was embroiled in a controversy last month when OC slapped him with a three-match ban for an “unsportsmanlike act”during a match against Al Turki NMC.

However, the selectors were happy to repose their trust in the experienced stumper as Oman begins its preparations for the ICC World Cricket League Division Two, scheduled to be held in Namibia in February.

The three-match series against US is expected to give Oman head coach Duleep Menidis a good idea of the team’s core composition for challenging Namibia trip.

The US team will arrive on December 3 and will take on the hosts the next day in the opener at Al Amerat with a day-night game on December 5. The final game will be on December 7.

Sultan will lead a team comprising 20 players with Enhance’s fast bowler Ahmed Fayyaz Butt and Al Turki NMC’s off-spinner Jay Odedara included in the squad for the first time.

“We need to put our team together and get the right combinations before we head for Namibia,” said Mendis, the former Sri Lankan great, who is also OC’s Chief Development Officer.

Soon after the series, Oman will be heading to UAE to play three matches against WCL Division One side Hong Kong.

“We will be trying many players in this series to identify our strengths and weaknesses and get the best possible combinations for our team.

“The two series against will set the tone for the Namibia trip. We also plan to play more matches before we head to Pretoria for pre-tour preparation,” said Mendis.

Oman had qualified for WCL Division Two in May 2017 after emerging champion in Uganda. Canada was runner-up and also made it into WCL Division Two.

Oman squad: Sultan Ahmed (captain), Zeeshan Maqsood, Khawar Ali, Aqib Ilyas, Arun Poulose, Swapnil Khadye, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Jatinder Singh, Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui, Mehran Khan, Ajay Lalcheta, Khurram Nawaz Khan, Naseem Khushi, Muhammed Nadeem, Sufyan Mahmood, Jay Odedara, Munis Ansari, Bilal Khan, Nester Dhamba, Ahmed Fayyaz Butt.