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National selectors must step down, says Al Hail official


Moula Bakhsh: Al Hail Cricket Team

Muscat:  Moula Bakhsh Al Balushi, manager of Omani team Al Hail CT, has asked the national cricket selection committee panel, including the chairman, to step down after Oman's disastrous performance in the ACC T20 Tournament being held in Nepal.

Oman lost the first three games to a second-string Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait before they won a consolation game against Bahrain yesterday.

Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, Moula has come out hard against the selectors.
"They have no right to continue in their posts. What they (selectors) should do is quit immediately.  As an ardent cricket lover, I am deeply hurt by the performance of our team. We never expected to go down this bad," he said.

According to Moula, the current team is not capable of winning matches abroad. "The same set of players have been selected for the last few years. There is a need for good talented players. The present team is not sufficiently qualified to win matches abroad," he stated.

Moula noted that in spite of having a full-fledged cricket ground in Al Amerat and training facilities in Barka, the team had failed to raise the bar. "They had very good preparation for the tournament. They had friendly games and also practised on the new turf ground in Amerat, but it was all in vain. Without these facilities, I think they (Oman) used to play much better.

"Now, they have reached a stage where serious introspection is required at all levels," Moula remarked. Some of the Omani teams, including Al Hail CT, had reportedly been blamed for not sending their players to the selection camp.

"I did receive an official communication from Oman Cricket to send my players to the camp. But our players didn't want to go in the first place. It is not a question of interest. It is about motivation. Some of my players came to me and said they would not be selected, so there was no point in attending the selection trials. Oman Cricket talked about having 100 Omani players and seven Omani teams, but look at the state of our national team," he observed.

On national coach Duleep Mendis, Moula said the legendary Sri Lankan cricketer's services had become fruitless. "We have great respect for Mendis, but he has not impressed us as a coach," he stated.

"It is high time for Mendis to objectively analyse his team before the all-important ICC World Cricket League Division 3 in April," he added.

Mendis through the media had called on Oman Cricket to include Omani teams in A Division.

"That was a good gesture, but the dark side is that the legendary coach did not even bother to witness the Omani players in action during the last season," lamented Moula. Moula was also critical about Oman Cricket sending five officials with the team, which according to him was an additional expense.

"The normal procedure is to have three officials, but they have taken five officials, which is an extra expense. Instead, they should have taken two more Omani players, who could have gotten international exposure.

"Overall, they need to look at where they are standing. A serious post-mortem of the team is essential before the next tournament in the ICC World Cricket League in Bermuda," Moula concluded.

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