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Oman’s 1100+ cricketers, growing in number and with an increasing number of native Arabs, need more places to play. With two of its four grounds lost this season to the demands of housing, the need has become even more pressing. A solution will present itself in December when Oman Cricket leases two grounds at Al Amerat to the south of Muscat, all league matches will now be played at the same place. “We do not want to have this nomadic life anymore,” says Oman Cricket’s Pankaj Khimji.
This season 61 teams are in the Oman League. “Last year we had 52 teams and we had faced difficulties and we don’t want such problems to happen again. We will have a good cricketing infrastructure at the new grounds,” says Mr.Khimji, who is also the Asia region’s Affiliates’ representative at the ICC. “We are extremely delighted at the way the popularity of the League is increasing every year. To have 61 teams in the League is not a small thing. The response by these teams shows the popularity of the League,” he says.
Desert scrub no more than 12 months ago, the grounds at Al Emarat will be unturfed. Oman have recently built a turf-practice facility in Muscat, and will be hoping to make good use of that under new coach Roy Dias in the years ahead as they aim to qualify for the T20 World Cup, ICC Intercontinental Cup, and the World Cup.
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