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Oman enjoy training camp

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The presence of the ICC Academy in Dubai has seen an interest in the development of cricket proliferate throughout the Middle East.

The latest evidence of that came to light when the Oman National Cricket Team travelled here for a training camp and series of matches at the ICC Academy in order to prepare for their World Twenty20 qualifiers which are to be held in Ireland and Scotland in June.

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The team from the Sultanate arrived at the Home of Elite Cricket on the 15th of April and spent most of the evening at the tailor-made outdoor net facilities as they honed their skills with bat and ball ahead of their first match against hosts UAE.

It was quite clear their efforts in the nets had paid off, having beaten the home team by seven wickets in their first Twenty20.

In the past, the ICC Academy has hosted several international cricket teams, including several that featured at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, such as co-hosts New Zealand and eventual winners Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Ireland, Afghanistan and home boys the United Arab Emirates.

Add to this fact that at this time last year, the Home of Elite Cricket was buzzing with the IPL’s best and brightest as seven of the eight teams in the tournament made our facilities their home base during their time in the UAE.

Having trained through the weekend, next match between the two Middle Eastern nations saw the UAE post a narrow five-run win as they batted first, posting a total of 144 in 19.5 overs. Team Oman came tantalisingly close but fell short in the end as their 20 overs saw them reach 139/8.

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The UAE’s neighbours made a similar scoreline in their third Twenty20, batting first, but once again, succumbed to the hosts, who matched their target of 139 in just 14 overs.

There were, though, lessons that the men in red had learned from their matches here, and that, coupled with the sharpness they’d imbibed from their training sessions saw them edge Challengers Cup and Arabian Cricket League regulars One Stop Tourism, scoring the winning runs in the final ball of the match.

Oman team Manager Syed Jameel was very happy with the lessons his team had learned while at the ICC Academy.

“In this part of the world, the wickets are very docile and don’t have grass on them,” he said. “We wanted to give our players a taste of what they are going to have in Ireland and Scotland: slightly greenish wickets that have got a lot of grass on them.

“We are really pleased that everybody got a very good experience in Dubai, especially the wickets that were provided by the ICC Academy, and the matches as well, it gave everybody a lot of experience and confidence playing on these grassy wickets.

“Though the weather will play a major part there, the wickets are perfectly okay and that is the reason we came to Dubai to have some matches in Dubai,” he continued.

“Above all, the staff of the Academy, each and everyone is giving us every possible us, which is very privileged for us, and these are superb facilities, fantastic facilities. Ultimately, the main goal of having these matches was to give our players practice on the grassy wickets.

“The only thing that we need to have is the experience and the possibility of playing on such wickets in Ireland. That was our goal,” he finished.

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