Oman is set to host ‘minimum six matches’ in the T20 World Cup. With four teams – Oman, Bangladesh, Muscat and Papua New Guinea – set to be based in Muscat for the qualifying round matches, there are discussions on whether Oman Cricket could be awarded a few more fixtures.
“The schedule is yet to be finalised, but it will host a minimum of six matches – with three involving Oman and three from other teams in the same group,” ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice said.
“The BCCI is still the host of the event, so the discussions around the schedule would be between the ICC and the BCCI when the time is right. We have not got into that level of details yet. There would be a minimum of six matches in Oman. It could be six or it could be more,” Allardice said, adding that the schedule is yet to be finalised.
On Friday, a BCCI delegation – comprising president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, vice-president Rajiv Shukla and treasurer Arun Dhumal – along with an ICC team, reached Oman to recce the grounds and other infrastructure. Sportstar understands the BCCI delegation will be in the Oman capital city for a couple of days and finalise the tournament hosting contract and other details.
“I am particularly delighted to be in Oman. As a major force in world cricket, the BCCI has always endeavoured to promote and assist Associate Nations. In my capacity as Asian Cricket Council President, my vision is to take cricket far and deep into Asia. Co-hosting the World Cup will put Oman Cricket on the global stage. They are also playing the Qualifiers and it will be an icing on the cake if they make it to the Super 12s,” BCCI secretary Shah said.
Oman was chosen as one of the venues as it would not be possible to host the entire tournament across just three centres – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
“The BCCI delegation is quite impressed with the facilities in Muscat and we will consider all the factors on whether more matches could be awarded to the venue before finalising the schedule. Since it is an ICC event, they will have to take a final decision on how many matches the country will host. For now, six games are definitely confirmed,” a source in the BCCI told this publication.
A lot, however, would depend on the travel restrictions and the protocols. The ICC chief executive stated that they are in touch with the Emirates and the Oman governments about the protocols before finalising the schedule. The ICC also plans to allow spectators for the games, however, a decision will be taken after consulting the governments.
The tournament will be played between October 17 and November 14.