Cricket in Oman

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Cricket was introduced to Oman during the time when it was a British protectorate. The sport is popular amongst Oman's South Asian expatriate population, and has more recently been taken up by native Omanis. The governing body of cricket in the country is Oman Cricket.

History

The Oman national men's team debuted at the 2002 ACC Trophy,[1] while the national women's team debuted in 2009, at a regional tournament.[2]

Venues

A 2016 ESPNcricinfo article noted that cricket in Oman "has mostly been played on grassless, utterly brown outfields, on concrete strips covered with artificial turf".[3] At the time of the establishment of the Oman Cricket Board in 1979, there was only a single ground regularly used for cricket, which was maintained by the Petroleum Development Oman and thus known as the PDO Ground. Within a few a few years, however, several other grounds had been acquired, included one at Sultan Qaboos University and one maintained by Oman Air.[4] Beginning in the 1980s, two venues mainly used for football – the Royal Oman Police Stadium and the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex – hosted occasional exhibition matches, sometimes featuring international players.[5]

In July 2008, Oman Cricket announced plans to construct an international-standard facility at Al Emarat, inland from the city Muscat. The cost of the project was initially estimated at 2 million Omani rials (US$5.2 million), with the land donated by the Ministry of Sports Affairs and the rest of the funding to be raised through corporate sponsorship.[6] The venue, known as the Al Emarat Cricket Stadium, was inaugurated in October 2012, by Ashraful Haque, the chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council. It held its first match – a club game – two months later.[7] Floodlights were installed at the venue in 2015,[8] and there are plans for an indoor academy to be built, to complement the existing academy at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.[3]

Demographics

The majority of cricket players in Oman are expatriates from other cricket-playing countries – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In 2010, fewer than 100 of the 780 players in the senior national league were Omani nationals.[9] This number had increased to 400 by 2016, although there was also an increase in the number of overall players.[10] Teams competing in the Omani league system are subject to a quota, being required to field a set number of Omani nationals in their playing line-ups.[11] At a national level, only a few native Omanis have broken through into the team. For instance, at the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, only one of Oman's players, Sufyan Mehmood, was an Omani national (although another Omani national, Yousuf Mahmood, was named as a standby player).[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Other matches played by Oman – CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  2. ^ Other women's matches played by Oman – CricketArchive. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b Sharda Ugra (16 March 2016). "Oman look to move up the food chain" – ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ (12 February 2014). "'Oman Cricket need to progress further'"Times of Oman. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  5. ^ History of Oman Cricket – Oman Cricket Official. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  6. ^ (16 July 2008). "Oman's big plans" – Asian Cricket Council. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Al Amerat rises" – Asian Cricket Council. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Lights on, Oman Cricket unveils new facilities at Al Amerat"Times of Oman. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  9. ^ (27 July 2011). "More men in Oman" – Asian Cricket Council. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  10. ^ Karthik Lakshmanan (10 March 2016). "The Exuberance, Resilience And Brotherhood Of Oman Cricket" – International Cricket Council. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  11. ^ Paul Radley (13 March 2012). "UAE could take leaf out of Oman cricket"The National. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  12. ^ Ashok Purohit (4 August 2015). "'Promote cricket among locals'"Muscat Daily. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
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