Oman Cricket to organise MRI-ball T10 Stassen Tea Lounge Challenge Trophy

Muscat, MARCH 4 –
As part of the ICC’s wider plan to popularise the game of cricket, Oman Cricket will organise the MRI-ball T10 Stassen Tea Lounge Challenge Trophy from April 6th.
The matches will be held on April 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th and 28th.
The men’s matches will be held at Muscat Municipality grounds in Al Amerat before moving to nearby Ministry of Sports grassy grounds for the Super Eight round. The semifinals and finals will be played under lights on April 27 and 28.
The winner will take home a prize money of 500 rials apart from medals and a trophy and the runner-up will fetch 250 rials plus medals and a trophy. OC will award 100 rials to the player of the tournament and a trophy to the player of the final.
There will be eight teams each in eight groups depending on the number of entries received. Each group will play on the knock-out basis and winners of each group will play the super eight round at OC Turf Ground.
Oman team coach Duleep Mendis expressed his satisfaction and happiness at the conduct of the tournament.
“I would like to thank Oman Cricket for agreeing to conduct the T10 tournament. I also like to thank Al Falaj for coming forward as sponsor. This tournament was initiated by ICC. They were very keen to get these support tournaments going. Football has become popular and they (ICC) want to popularise and create interest for cricket among people. Play the cricket anywhere but they want the sport to grow and become popular. Especially coming from Oman Cricket the recognition is greater. The semifinal and final will be played under lights in Amerat. We want to make this an annual tournament. So Fridays we will have the men and Saturday the women. With a maximum of 64 teams with eight teams each in eight groups,’’ he added.
Kiran Asher, OC board member, said the idea was to make the tournament a family affair.
“We want to popularise the game at the lowest level. It is part of ICC’s plan to develop the game and we want it become a family event and get as many people here as possible,’’ he added.
Vaishali Jesrani, OC board member, said the event will encourage women to take to the game as well.
“Earlier, with the hard ball there were restrictions when it came to women. But now, with the soft ball we can expect more women to play the game,’’ she added.
The registration fees for the tournament is 50 rials and the cut off date for registrations is March 13th at OC office before 7.30 pm.
Coach Mendis gave no excuses for the Oman team’s relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division III.
“No excuses, we were beaten. There were chances but we could not take it and I always felt that toss should not be a decider but unfortunately it was a factor in a couple of matches.”
“The positive for us was our bowling. The three fast bowlers we selected played brilliantly, Bilal got the highest number of wickets and even the other two played well,’’ he added.
Mendis felt the batting struggled in the initial games of the tournament and came good only in the latter stages.
“We were getting a team like Namibia all out for 156 and then reaching 80/2 at the chase. To lose from there, I felt something was not working for us,’’ he added.
“We had 10-12 days of training in Pretoria but we could not execute our plans effectively unfortunately,’’ Mendis said.