OCT Mabella’s captain Mohammed Hanif accepts the winners’ trophy from Oman Cricket Chairman Kanak Khimji
Picture by Oman Cricket

First there were three, then four and now five teams in the All Omani Summer T20 Cricket Tournament. Mabella retained the trophy they won last year, defeating Muscat by 42 runs after making 171. “It’s good to see cricket promoted among Arabs themselves, I’ve always been a firm believer that cricket can be enjoyed by anybody and with more Arab teams coming on board every year, its obvious that the game’s growing in Oman,” says ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura.

Oman have been strong supporters of the ACC’s policy of having a minimum of three passport-holders in a team at youth level. Arab countries face particular hurdles in this respect as non-Arabs, irrespective of birth or length of stay are not given full citizenship in their countries of residence.

There were 780 senior cricketers in Oman's national league in 2010, of whom almost 100 are Arabs. Clubs are required to have at least one Omani player in the playing XI, who must not bat lower than No. 5 in the side.

“Oman’s support of this from the start and their continuing efforts in this regard stand as an example to all the other Arabian countries as to what is possible,” says the ACC Development Manager. If the game stays inside just one or two communities and does not embed itself in the communal citizenship, cricket will remain a marginalised sport in much of the Associate and Affiliate world. Unlike football. Unlike tennis. Unlike rugby.

All Omani Tournament Winners 2011 OCT Mabella
Picture by Oman Cricket

There are Arabs who have played cricket and played it well in England and the subcontinent, that they are now playing it in their own countries is something to applaud. One looks forward to them competing for places in their national representative sides.

All Omani Summer T20 Championship 2011
OCT Mabella v OCT Muscat at OAC IV
Mabella won the toss and chose to bat
Mabella: 213 for 4 off 20 overs (M.G.Baig 56, S.Ismail 51, S.Pindok 39; M.Ishaq 2-30)
Muscat: 171 all out off 19.2 overs (Rafiq M. 44, Niyaz A. 36, Nadeem M. 30; A.Smad 2-23, M.Hanif 2-27, S.Ahmed 2-28, S.Pindook 2-28, Nadeem M. 2-32)
Man of the Match: Sharif Pindook (Mabella)

Best Batsman: Mohsin Gul Baig (Mabella)
Best Bowler: Sharif Pindook (Mabella)
Player of the Tournament: Sharif Pindook (Mabella)

Filed July 27th, 2011