Oman's foray into cricket

It was an advantage for Oman that the qualifying round of the 2021 T20 World Cup was held at their home. Home advantage The entire T20 World Cup including the qualifying round was supposed to be held in the UAE initially but after a change of events which led the second part of IPL 2021 to be held in the UAE, the ICC in consultation with the BCCI decided to shift the qualifying round to Oman to keep the pitches fresh for the main event. This was certainly a big advantage for Oman who were looking good in the lead-up. The team started on a strong note, getting past Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets. Captain's corner Zeeshan Maqsood, Oman skipper, said this after the team kickstarted proceedings with a win in the first match of the qualifying round. "I am very happy, it was a crucial time for us, they were batting very well. We got crucial wickets and didn't allow them to put up a big total. I just try and keep it tight, don't bowl loose ones and bowl according to the field. The wicket was playing well, we just wanted to not give boundaries and loose balls, that run-out and then the wicket of Assad Vala was crucial for us to come back into the game." "We know these conditions well, any score around 120-140 can be chased well, the wicket was playing well, the ball was coming on nicely and the openers batted really well. Thanks to all our supporters and the family members. We have to look at our fielding, and minimise our mistakes, so we admit that and come back strong. We always use many bowling options, so that's a good thing for us. Our catching is alright, but ground fielding has to be better due to nerves. We can't take it easy and correct our mistakes." Not a happy ending However, Oman went on to lose their next two matches by 26 runs against Bangladesh and 8 wickets against Scotland, thus failing to qualify for the super 12 stage. Zeeshan Maqsood was understandably disappointed after the team lost their last match and was knocked out of the competition but said that this was not the end but the beginning for the team. The promise that Oman have shown and the infrastructure that the country holds, there is little doubt that the team will get a lot more opportunities in the future to prove their mettle.