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Oman Cricket’s ‘gentle giant’ Kanaksi Khimji leaves a legacy


Soft-spoken Kanaksi Gokaldas Khimji was the pillar of Oman Cricket as his hard work made a name for Oman in cricketing world. The founding chairman of Oman Cricket (OC), passed away at an age of 85 in Muscat on Thursday.

The veteran administrator was presented the ICC Lifetime Service Award in 2011 as the international body recognised his outstanding contribution to the growth of cricket in the Sultanate.

Kanaksi monitored the game’s growth from scratch in Oman and upto recent achievement of getting ICC approval to host Test matches.

Oman’s wonderful cricket facilities at Al Amerat got ICC’s top approval and the country is now an accredited Test, One-day International (ODI) and T20 International venue.

The state-of-the-art Oman Cricket Academy at Al Amerat is an added attraction which provides professional and innovative coaching.

Oman Cricket was formed in 1979 with Kanaksi as president and other founder members. Oman is currently the 38th associate member of ICC and has international status in Twenty20 format from 2015-17.

Cricket Development Award at acc

Testimony to Kanakbhai’s — as fondly called by the cricketing fraternity in Oman — far vision was the Best Cricket Development Programme Award for National Youth Development Project, at 2014 Asian Cricket Council Conference.

Oman have come a mile far as the team has qualified again for the Twenty20 World Cup 2020 Australia, which was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This is the second time the national team has made it to the world’s best teams, after making a memorable World Cup debut in 2016 World Twenty20 in India.

Previously unknown, Oman made headlines on the big stage by beating Ireland in their first match. It also marked the first time any sporting team from Oman has made presence at a global World Cup sporting event.

In domestic level, under Kanaksi’s guidance Oman Cricket made presence in Suhar and Salalah by appointing committees in both places.

Salalah Cricket League was launched and has become an annual sporting schedule in Salalah.


Tributes poured in from different walks of society including cricket fraternity and business community for Kankshi, who is also the chairman of Khimji Group of Companies.

“Deeply saddened to learn about passing away of Kanaksi Khimji. An institution builder and a father figure to Indian community; he also made huge contributions to bilateral partnership. I will always cherish memories of my warm interactions with him. Heartfelt condolences,” Munu Mahawar, Indian Ambassador to Oman said.

Kanaksi was born in 1936 in Muscat and completed his education in Mumbai. He has been spearheading the Khimji Ramdas businesses for five decades and was granted Omani citizenship for his outstanding contribution to the growth of the community and economy.

Kanaksi, marked by his humble personality, is also the first person in the Gulf region to have been honoured with India’s Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award in recognition of his zealous commitment to social activities in Oman and India.

Kanaksi was instrumental in establishing Oman’s first English medium Indian School in Muscat (1975).

Indian Schools in Oman suspended work and online classes as a mark of respect to Kanaksi Khimji, the pioneer in establishing Indian schools in the Sultanate.

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