T20 World Cup: Oman Cricket ready to host matches if given an opportunity

The International Cricket Council (ICC) may look at Muscat as one of the additional venues for the T20 World Cup if the tournament is moved out of India because of the ongoing pandemic.

A final decision is expected later this month with the ICC giving the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) time till June 28 to confirm its ability to host the event in India.

Oman Cricket, however, is keeping itself ready to host matches of the mega event. “The BCCI as the host needs to take the call first whether they want to change the venue. The United Arab Emirates can offer three venues, but if there is a requirement for four or five venues, they will have to look at the neighbourhood,” Oman Cricket chief Pankaj Khimji told Sportstar.

READ: ICC to take a decision on T20 World Cup by June end

“Our grounds have ODI, T20 status. Last month, our ground also got Test status. So, our grounds are always ready,” Khimji, who has recently been appointed as the vice-president of the Asian Cricket Council, said.

For a 16-team event, the three venues in UAE — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah — may not be enough. The ICC is planning to host a few games in Muscat, possibly during the qualifiers.

The Gulf nation has previously hosted ICC fixtures. The Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) ground in Al Amerat – 15 km southeast of the capital Muscat – has also recently been accredited to host Test matches, apart from ODIs and T20Is. However, it does not have permanent facilities for spectators.

“Now, it is summer, so the grounds have been completely re-laid. Our season starts in September and the grounds will be in perfect shape. If we are given the opportunity, we will be delighted to host the matches.” Khimji said.

“We have fantastic infrastructure. Apart from the stadiums, our practice areas, pavilions – for the players, the experience will be as good as anywhere in the world.”

The Oman cricket team, coached by former Sri Lanka captain Duleep Mendis, will be featuring in the tournament and the Board is optimistic about the team’s chances.

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