Muscat: Oman have been clubbed with former World Cup winners Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland and neighbours UAE in Group B as the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 fixtures were released on Tuesday afternoon.
Hosts Zimbabwe, West Indies, Netherlands, Nepal and United States make up Group A with the ten teams competing for the final two spots at ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
The ten-nation World Cup Qualifier will be held in Zimbabwe from June 18 - July 9 across four venues in Harare and Bulawayo.
Oman, who are aiming to qualify for the Cricket World Cup for the first time, will begin their campaign on June 19 in Bulawayo against Ireland followed by a game against UAE on June 21.
On June 23, Oman will take on 1996 World Cup winners Sri Lanka before concluding the league stage with a match against Scotland on June 25.
Each side will play the other teams in their group once with the top three from the groups progressing to the Super Six stage.
The teams each play three Super Six matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage. All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group. The finalists will both progress to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The Super Six stage will commence on June 29, while the bottom two teams from each group will compete in the playoff.
For the first time at this event, DRS will be used for all matches from the Super Six stage.
The Qualifier will begin with hosts Zimbabwe taking on Nepal and two-time World Cup winners West Indies meeting USA on June 18.
Each match will be high stakes, with the top two teams qualifying for the global one-day showpiece and assured of nine guaranteed matches in India.
Queen’s Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo, Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare will share 34 matches between them, with Harare Sports Club staging the final on July 9.
The Qualifier is the culmination of four years of hard-fought competition and brings together the bottom five teams from the ICC Men’s CWC Super League, three automatic qualifiers from ICC Men’s CWC League 2 and two teams who gained entry from the ICC Men’s CWC Qualifier playoff.
Ahead of the Qualifier, all the teams will also feature in two warm-up matches to be played on June 13 and 15. Oman will play against hosts Zimbabwe in the first of the two warm-up matches at Takashinga Cricket Club on June 13 and then meet Nepal in the second warm-up game at Harare Sports Club two days later.
Oman’s coach Mendis said: “Now with the groupings and venue released, we know where to play and whom to play. We have to perform and there wouldn’t be any room for any excuses wherever we play. I along with my boys are confident of making it to Super Six stage.
“We have a pre-World Cup Qualifier tour to Durban in South Africa that will last for 12 days. Our preparations have been good despite the scorching summer giving the boys a hard time. We hope the five practice games in Durban will help us and by the time we conclude the trip, our boys will be ready. The two official warm-up games against Nepal and Zimbabwe will be crucial in Harare. We hope to have a successful outing in Zimbabwe.”
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “The countdown to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is entering the final stages and this event presents an incredible opportunity for teams to earn a place in the pinnacle event of one day cricket. The stakes don’t get any bigger in what will be a very competitive event enjoyed by fans looking to see who will join the eight teams that have already booked their tickets to India.
“With two former Cricket World Cup champions among the contenders as well as emerging cricket nations who are aiming to qualify for the first time, this unique event, featuring teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe will be a showcase of the global game.”
Oman’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier fixtures: (All matches begin at 11am, Oman time)
June 19 (Monday): Ireland vs Oman, Bulawayo Athletic Club
June 21 (Wednesday): Oman vs UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club
June 23 (Friday): Sri Lanka vs Oman, Queen’s Sports Club
June 25 (Sunday): Scotland vs Oman, Bulawayo Athletic Club
June 29 (Thursday): Super 6: A2 vs B2, Queen’s Sports Club
June 30 (Friday): Super 6: A3 vs B1, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: A5 vs B4, Takashinga Cricket Club
July 1 (Saturday): Super 6: A1 vs B3, Harare Sports Club
July 2 (Sunday): Super 6: A2 vs B1, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: A4 vs B5, Takashinga Cricket Club
July 3 (Monday): Super 6: A3 vs B2, Harare Sports Club
July 4 (Tuesday): Super 6: A2 vs B3, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: 7th vs 8th Takashinga Cricket Club
July 5 (Wednesday): Super Six: A1 vs B2, Harare Sports Club
July 6 (Thursday): Super Six: A3 vs B3, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: 9th vs 10th Takashinga Cricket Club
July 7 (Friday): Super Six: A1 vs B1, Harare Sports Club
July 9 (Sunday): Final, Harare Sports Club
13 June (Tuesday): Zimbabwe v Oman, Takashinga Cricket Club
15 June (Thursday): Oman vs Nepal, Harare Sports Club