Muscat: Oman U16 cricket team head coach Syed Aamir Kaleem has expressed confidence in his boys as they look forward to a top-place finish at the ACC Men’s U16 West Zone Cup 2023 in Dubai, UAE, from March 24-30.
Organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), and hosted by the Bahrain Cricket Federation, the tournament features all the six GCC countries. The event is being organised after a gap of three years.
Besides Oman, the other teams participating in the tournament are UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The round-robin 35-over-a-side matches will be played under floodlights at the Vision Cricket Centre Grounds in Dubai.
Oman, captained by Jeet Shah, will take on UAE in the opener on March 24. They play Bahrain on the next day and then meet Saudi Arabia on March 27. Oman face Kuwait on March 28 before concluding their campaign with a match against Qatar on March 30. Wicketkeeper Rahil Habibulla has been named the team vice-captain.
Speaking after a training session at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds in Al Amerat on Friday, Aamir Kaleem said: “We have been preparing hard for this tournament for the past one month. We have a great bunch of young and talented cricketers, who have performed exceptionally well during the recently-concluded junior domestic season.
“They have made it to the national team based on their merit and have displayed a lot of talent in the local competitions. They have the potential to make it big and I am confident that the team will do very well in the upcoming championship.”
A former Oman international cricketer, who has served the country with distinction for a long time, Aamir Kaleem, added: “We have played a series of practice games and did match-simulation training in the leadup to the tournament along with regular skill sessions. We hope to reap favourable results as the boys have been putting in a lot of effort. The tournament is a perfect stage for them to perform and will give them the required exposure and experience to prepare them for the bigger stage.
“I am excited to coach this young talented bunch of players and I thank Oman Cricket and its board members for the trust they have shown in me and the boys. We are looking forward to a top-place finish in the UAE.”
Oman squad: Jeet Shah (captain), Rahil Habibulla (vice-captain), Prathiesh Ramesh, Devansh Loya, Wajih Abbas, Omindu Medagoda, Giriharan Kuttiraja, Aneek Chakraborty, Aryan Joshi, Kriv Patel, Saumya Sampat, Rishab Gupta, Jayapranesh, Kavish Shah. Head coach: Syed Aamir Kaleem, manager: Sher Mohammed.
Oman’s fixtures: 24 March: vs UAE, 25 March: vs Bahrain, 27 March: vs Saudi Arabia, 28 March: vs Kuwait, 30 March: vs Qatar.