Oman squad for WCL Division Two: Three new faces called up for Namibia tour

January 09, 2018

Ruwan Kalpage (left) and Anusha Samaranayake

The national team selectors have picked three new faces for the forthcoming ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Two tournament in Namibia. The tournament will be played from February 8-15.

Fast bowlers Kaleemullah and Ahmed Fayyaz Butt and spin allrounder Jay Odedara have been called up for the first time into the national team for an ICC event, according to an Oman Cricket release on Monday.

The 14-man squad will be led by the experienced stumper Sultan Ahmed while all-rounder Zeeshan Maqsood will be his deputy. Oman had won the WCL Division Three in Uganda in May last year to qualify for Namibia.

The selectors have dropped five players from that winning squad based on their recent performances. Munis Ansari, Arun Poulose, Nestor Dhamba, Syed Amir Ali and Omani Sufyan Mehmood have been axed while experienced batsman Vaibhav Wategaonkar and Swapnil Khadye makes a comeback.

A total of six teams will take part in the tournament with Oman, Canada Kenya, UAE, Nepal and hosts Namibia competing on a round-robin and knockout format.

The top two teams will gain promotion to WCL Division One and a chance to compete in the World Cup Qualifier to be held in March 2018 in Zimbabwe to decide the final qualification for the World Cup 2019.

According to Oman’s head coach Duleep Mendis, the team will depart for Pretoria in South Africa en route to Namibia on January 25. The team will play three practice games against local South African teams before it flies to Namibia on February 6.

The team is currently undergoing a training camp and as part of the build-up will play two practice games against Premier Division teams.

Squad: Sultan Ahmed (captain and wicketkeeper), Zeeshan Maqsood (vice-captain), Jatinder Singh, Aqib Ilyas, Khawar Ali, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Ajay Lalcheta, Mohammed Nadeem, Jay Odedara, Bilal Khan, Swapnil Khadye, Mohammed Naseem, Kaleemullah and Ahmed Fayyaz Butt. Reserves: Sufyan Mahmood, Nestar Dhamba, Baadal Singh and Mehran Khan.

Officials: Madhu Jesrani (manager), Pankaj Khimji (chef de mission), Duleep Mendis (coach), Mazhar Saleem Khan (assistant coach), Ruwan Kalpage (spin/fielding coach), Anusha Samaranayake (fast bowling coach), Premnath (physio) and Nandisha (analyst).

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