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All-rounder Nadeem hopes to play bigger role for Oman in remaining matches

4 Jun 2024

Bridgetown, Barbados – At the age of 41 years, Mohammad Nadeem is the seniormost all-rounder of Oman team at the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA. The soft-spoken medium pacer and middle-order batter has been serving the national team for a decade with pride and has made important contributions in some of the memorable victories over the years in both the T20 and the ODI formats.

Nadeem, who failed to make any major contribution in Oman’s defeat against Namibia in their Group B opener at the Kensington Oval on Sunday, is now hoping to play a bigger role in the remaining games in the West Indies. Nadeem could score only 6 runs in Oman’s total of 109 and did not get a chance to bowl during the Super Over loss.

Speaking a day after the team’s narrow defeat, Nadeem said: “Yes, it was a very close game, an edge of the seat thriller for fans around the world. We were possibly 20-30 runs short but we fought bravely to make a game out of it. Few would give us a chance when we finished our innings at 109. But this is what our team is all about. We showcased how strong our bowling attack is and but for few dropped catches, we almost won the game.”

He added: “Defeats are always tough to swallow but the way we came back in the game against Namibia gives us lot of hopes that as a unit, we can fight till the end, irrespective of any opposition.”

Nadeem, who landed in Oman in 2009 and have played for domestic top-flight club Assarain CT for long, made his T20I debut for his adopted country in 2015 against Afghanistan in Dublin.

With a decade of service to Oman’s national team, Nadeem embodies dedication and resilience

He said: “For me, it was important to make contribution with both bat and ball. I am thankful to Oman Cricket and national coach Duleep Mendis for his trust and belief in me. I am proud to represent Oman at the world’s biggest stage and this is my second T20 World Cup.”

During his early days, Nadeem impressed with his speed and line and length as the Sialkot-born all-rounder from Pakistan clocked above 140km regularly. Of late, he may not have the same speed but is a smart cricketer with effective use of line and length. While he has been used often as a change bowler, his batting skills have been more to the fore including his crucial and unbeaten innings of 46 during Oman’s historic five-wicket win over Ireland last year during the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

In the T20Is, Nadeem has played 53 games so far and scored 489 runs with his highest being an unbeaten 77 against Canada in 2022 while he has picked 30 wickets with his career-best figures of 4/23 against Jersey in 2019.

Nadeem is a vital cog in the wheels of success of Oman’s cricket over the years and is described as a “living legend” by his team-mates. His batting style is simple but efficient, but what stands out is his ability to soak up pressure in tense situations and steer Oman across the line on many occasions.

Fondly known as ‘Bhalli’, Nadeem has a gentle run up that belies the consistent 120-130kph pace he can generate even now and has an impressive strike rate with his success particularly achieved in the middle overs.

Nadeem, who idolised and closely followed the journey of South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, during his young days, is still passionate about his cricket.

Looking forward to the remaining Group B games with the next match coming up against former champions and heavyweights Australia, Nadim said: “I am ready to put in my best foot forward if I am given a chance. At this level and in this format, there are no favourites. We can upset any team on our day. We have prepared well, and we are ready to take on the heavyweights.”

Following the match against Australia on June 5, Wednesday 8.30pm (June 6, Thursday, 4.30am, Oman time), Duleep Mendis’ Men in Red will travel to Antigua to play the remaining two games, first against Scotland on June 9, Sunday, 1pm (Sunday, 9pm, Oman time) and then conclude the league engagement against the defending champions England on June 13, Thursday, 3pm (Thursday, 11pm, Oman time).

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