Mendis hopes Oman makes the most of home advantage

Duleep Mendis, Oman head coach

Home advantage is what Oman will be looking at when it begins its campaign against Kenya in the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three at the Al Amerat ground on November 9.

The six-nation tournament features hosts Oman, Kenya, Singapore, US, Uganda and Denmark.

Playing its first international competition at home, Oman has been preparing for the tournament over the past few weeks with a domestic camp under the watchful eyes of national team head coach and former Sri Lankan great Duleep Mendis.

With less than a week to go, Mendis expressed confidence of a good show from his boys.

Mendis said, “We are fully prepared for WCL 3. We commenced our training a few weeks ago as we are in the middle of our domestic season. Our team trainer Evert Laubscher (from South Africa) has been working on our players' fitness and Ruwan Kalpage (from Sri Lanka) has been focusing on fielding and spin bowling.”

The coach said, “Oman will have the benefit of playing in home conditions. Our boys are quite used to playing on home surfaces and it will help us in terms of weather, light, knowledge of local conditions and home crowd support.”

ICC

Mendis said, “We have a well-balanced side comprising seamers and spinners backed up by a good batting line-up.

Fielding is something we have concentrated a lot and will like to keep improving.”

The Oman coach refused to single out any team as the toughest opponent in the competition.

“Nowadays all the teams have improved a lot and we have to take all games seriously. We have to win against all of them.”

The matches will be played at the two floodlit grass grounds at Al Amerat. The  top two teams from this championship will be promoted to WCL Division 2. The tournament concludes on November 19.

Entry to the tournament has been kept free by Oman Cricket (OC), which is making lot of efforts to ensure that a large crowd turns up at the venue.

“We are going to install tents on the grounds for the general public and offer proper seating arrangement,” said Madhu Jesrani, OC secretary.

The five overseas teams are expected to arrive in Muscat on November 7.

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