Muscat (Oman), May 24 (IANS) Veteran cricketer Zeeshan Maqsood will lead Oman at the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier next month with Aqib Ilyas named as his deputy for the 10-team tournament.
The squad has two uncapped players in leg-spinner Samay Shrivastav and all-rounder Rafiullah. It also features three wicketkeepers — Naseem Khushi, Suraj Kumar and Adeel Shafique — with one of them set to miss out in the final 15, according to a statement from Oman Cricket.
The squad has a pretty familiar look otherwise with the bowling attack led by Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah. Oman have relied on experience with the average age of the squad being 32.
Oman are placed in Group B alongside Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, and UAE at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier. The two teams that come out on top in the three-week tournament will travel to the main event in India later in the year.
Meanwhile, the bottom two teams in both groups will compete in the playoff.
Oman are hoping to qualify for the Cricket World Cup for the first time and will play five practice games in Durban in a preparatory camp ahead of the tournament that begins on June 18. They put on a solid performance in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, finishing second among seven teams with 21 wins in 36 matches across four years.
“We are ready for the challenge and it’s a big opportunity for us to showcase our potential. We have the experience of playing against all the teams except for West Indies and Zimbabwe. We have to play to our best abilities and hopefully we can achieve the desired results,” said skipper Maqsood.
Oman squad: Zeeshan Maqsood (c), Aqib Ilyas (vc), Jatinder Singh, Kashyap Prajapati, Shoaib Khan, Mohammed Nadeem, Sandeep Goud, Ayaan Khan, Suraj Kumar, Adeel Shafique, Naseem Khushi, Bilal Khan, Kaleemullah, Fayyaz Butt, Jay Odedra, Samay Shrivastav, Rafiullah