Cricket enthusiasts happy over Oman's entry into World Twenty20 tourney

Muscat - 

Citizens and expatriates are thrilled after Oman's cricket team on Thursday qualified for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 for the first time.

Oman's five-wicket win over Namibia in the crucial T20 World qualifying match played in Dublin, Ireland, and team's entry into the biennial tournament in India next year added to the Renaissance Day celebrations.

Speaking about the team's achievement, Dad Mohammed al Balushi, a board member of Oman Cricket, said, “We are extremely happy with the team's performances. This is a matter of immense pride as we have worked hard to develop the game in the country for over three decades.”

Balushi said that the tourney in India will be a tough one as “we will have to play against Test playing nations like India, Pakistan and Australia”.

Lubna al Kindi, a businesswoman and a cricket enthusiast said, “Though cricket is not as popular as football in Oman, this is a big achievement for the country.”

Akash Kumar, a private sector employee said, “I’ve been in Oman for the past ten years and have seen the hard work put in by cricketers and concerned officials to take the sport forward. The hard work has started to yield results.”

Before the Namibia clash, the national team had already made its mark in the qualifiers with some shock victories against fancied teams,  the Netherlands and Afghanistan.

However, the match against Namibia was the key one as the winner would have sealed the sixth and final qualifying berth.

Shoaib Ahmed, a businessman in Ruwi said, “Oman did well by restricting Namibia to 148.

“Then, the team survived some tense moments before man of the match Zeeshan Siddiqui (51 not out) sealed an important win for the country with an over to spare.”

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