Muscat: Oman Cricket has finally revealed its squad selections, which had previously been kept under wraps for reasons known only to the board. As reported by Times Sport a few days ago, Vaibhav Wategaonkar will lead the senior national team during the forthcoming Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Championship.
The tournament, which is also a qualifier for the World T20 qualifiers to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November this year, will be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) from March 26 to April 3.
The official communiqué announcing the team came from Oman Cricket yesterday and confirmed that Vaibhav, who took over the reins of Muscat CT from Hemal Mehta and led the team to championship honours in the A Division League, had also taken over the responsibility of the national team, which had been led by Hemal, thus far.
Vaibhav has been a regular member of the national team and has a vast knowledge of the game and the opponents. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper–batsman Sultan Ahmed will continue to don the vice-captaincy cap, though many thought he would win the captaincy from Hemal Mehta.
Hemal Mehta continues to be part of the team and is expected to lend good support to the new captain and his deputy.
As expected and reported earlier, only two Omani cricketers, Qais Khalid Qais Al Said and Sufyan Mahmood, figure in the team, while the others have had the experience of playing international cricket.
The ACC T20 tournament features 10 teams in two groups, with Group A comprising host Nepal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Maldives, and Singapore, whilst Oman has been placed in Group B, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals, and the winners are playing for the title.
The manager on tour will be Syed Jameel Zaidi, and the coach will be Duleep Mendis, who will be assisted by Mazhar Saleem Khan. The physiologist on tour is Jaganathan Premnath, while Dr M.V. Manjunth will be the analyst/statistician.
The team will leave for Nepal on March 24.
Meanwhile, Oman Cricket will hold its Annual General Body meeting at the Al Mirani Hall, Al Falaj Hotel, commencing at 7pm tomorrow. Members have been individually informed of the AGM. All members who have renewed their membership for the year 2013 have been requested to attend.
The squad: Vaibhav Wategaonkar (captain), Sultan Ahmed (vice-captain), Qais Khalid Qais Al Said, Sufyan Mahmood, Hemal Mehta, Adnan Ilyas Sulehri, Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui, Syed Amir Ali, Syed Aamir Kaleem, Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Jatinder Singh, Ghazanfar Iqbal, Zeeshan Maqsood, and Ajay Lalcheta. The reserves are Jaspreet Singh, Nileshkumar Parmar, Munis Ansari, and Khawar Ali.