Oman to host ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup Division 2 Qualifiers
Muscat – Arjun Dhiman has been named captain of the Oman squad for the forthcoming ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) Division 2 Qualifiers.
The eight-nation qualifying tournament will be played at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds from September 29-October 7.
Oman are placed along with Bhutan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia in Group A while Group B comprises Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar, and Singapore.
The two finalists of Division 2 will progress to the final round of the Asia Qualifier. They will join Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and UAE who are already granted a place in the final stage of qualification.
The winner of the final round of the Asian Qualifier will book a place in the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup in 2024.
Arjun is one of the most experienced youngsters in the squad and has been part of the Premier Division season for the past couple of years.
Oman Cricket selectors and head coach Adeel Shafique picked a squad that boasts of a maximum number of allrounders.
Aditya Gurmukhi, another youngster who has been playing in the Premier Division, has been appointed as the team’s vice-captain.
Both Arjun and Aditya are off-spinners and strokeful batters.
Besides the skipper and his deputy, the team revolves around allrounders with Lakshmi Narayana one of them.
The teenager shone with the bat last season when he hammered a record unbeaten 213 in an inter-school match [30-overs-a-side].
A handy leg-spinner, he will be joined by a couple of other leg-spinners in Prateish Ramesh and Ashish Kumar, the latter being a right-arm leggie and a left-handed batter.
The team’s spin attack is bolstered by Glen Menezes, who has tasted good success at the school cricket level and with the national U16 side.
Experienced Siddh Mehta’s off-spin will be one of the ingredients in the national team’s attempt to win the group and finish among the top two teams to qualify for the final round of Asian Qualifiers. Siddh is also a useful middle-order batter and brings along a lot of experience, having played along with senior cricketers over the past few seasons.
Another off-spinner in the side is Tanuj Sivakumar, whose batting skills have been honed in the domestic A Division league last season.
Aryan Bisht completes the line-up of allrounders. Born in Muscat, Aryan has been playing competitive cricket in the Indian state of Uttarakhand for the past couple of years.
Rahil Habibulla is the lone wicketkeeper and the batting keeper has been among runs in domestic cricket with a tidy showing behind wickets.
The pace battery is led by Mohammed Arafat Islam, whose raw pace has impressed the coaches. Another pacer who will shoulder a lot of responsibility is Devansh Loya. The lanky seamer has made good use of his height [6’3] while picking up wickets on the local school circuit and is considered to be one of the compact batters in the squad with a couple of centuries under his belt.
Ahmed al Zadjali is another bright prospect included in the team and the only Omani who will be hoping to make his debut for his country.
A trainee at the Oman Cricket Academy for the past three years, he is a promising hope. Oman Cricket’s endeavor to make the national team all-inclusive has met success with the drafting of Ahmed, a young and passionate medium pacer. The pace quartet is completed by Chaitra Thanki, the most experienced fast bowler, who is also playing in the Premier Division.
16 teams will be competing at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup. 11 teams have automatically qualified for the event as the best-placed Full Member nations from the previous event in 2022. These are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.
The remaining five spots will be determined through regional qualification pathways, with one team from each region securing a place at the event.
Americas and East Asia Pacific nations (EAP) will each host one qualifying event in 2023, with the winner of each event sealing a spot at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
The Africa, Asia, and Europe regions will each have a two-step qualification structure. These regions will host Division 2 Qualifiers in 2022 to determine the teams that will compete in the second and final qualifying event, the Regional Qualifier. Only the winning teams from the Regional Qualifiers will qualify to compete at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Oman U19 Squad:
Arjun Dhiman (captain), Aditya Gurumukhi (vice-captain), Aryan Bisht, Ahmed al Zadjali, Lakshmi Narayana, Rahil Habibulla, Glen Menezes, Mohammed Arafat Islam, Siddh Mehta, Ashish Kumar, Chaitra Thanki, Tanuj Sivakumar, Prateish Ramesh, Devansh Loya. Head coach: Adeel Shafique. Manager: Sher Mohammed.
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