After finishing as the tournament runner-up at 2016 WCL Division Five in Jersey and Division Four in Los Angeles, Oman were crowned champions of Division Three on Tuesday at Lugogo Oval after rain intervened to produce no result in the tournament final against Canada. Oman was declared winner by virtue of finishing with a 4-1 record in the league stage.
The jubilant players arrived home to a rousing reception in Muscat International Airport and were felicitated for their history making achievements by the Oman Cricket board Chairman, Mr. Kanak Khimji, in the presence of Oman Cricket fans, dignitaries and sponsors.
The success in the WCL3 marks the remarkable rise of the national team in the 50 over format of the game in 2016/17, following on from the meteoric rise in the T20 format in the 2015/16 season. National team coach Duleep Mendis said, “Qualifying to division 2 is a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time and the credit should go to all the players and board of directors, especially the chairman, Mr. Kanak Khimji.”
He said that the road to success was hard and to remain in the same division or climb further up the ranking will be a whole new challenge. However, he expressed confidence in his boys to stand up to the occasion when called upon again and the need to improve the bench strength to compete at a higher level.
Regarding the infrastructure development he said, “Gradually the infrastructure is coming along in place and we will be fully equipped by the end of 2017 to host international tournaments.” He was confident that the Oman Cricket facilities will be a masterpiece in the gulf region.
Oman’s next assignment in the pathway to the 2019 ICC 50 over Would Cup qualification will gear up for the WCL2 tournament, which will take place in the first quarter in 2018.