Muscat, aug 13 – Sultanate of Oman is gearing up for the great honour of hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy, coming to the country on a two-day tour on August 27. With this historic event Oman will become the only country in the Middle East to have hosted what is undoubtedly one of the most cherished sports souvenirs in the world. “It’s a great honour for the country that the International Cricket Council has chosen Oman to showcase the historic World Cup Trophy in the region as part of its worldwide tour. Oman Cricket (OC) not only sees this development as an important milestone for the country, but a recognition of the Sultanate emerging as one of the fastest growing cricket nations in the region,” said Pankaj Khimji, senior OC Board member and Oman’s voice at ICC.
He said the national team’s achievements and a series of superb performances in international tournaments in recent years had played a major part in attracting global attention to the Sultanate. “The World Cup Trophy coming to Muscat now presents the people of Oman, particularly the choolchildren, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only see the trophy live, but hold it in their hands as well,” added Pankaj. The ICC World Cup is the flagship event in one-day cricket and is watched and followed by more than one billion people across the globe. As many as 105 countries are currently ICC members.
“The World Cup Trophy coming to Oman is an important happening in the buildup to the showpiece event to be held in England from May 30 to July 14 next year. To me, this historic development will inspire a lot of young people, going a long way towards attracting more schoolchildren to the game,” said Madhu Jesrani, Secretary, Oman Cricket. Jesrani, running from pillar to post to ensure the trophy gets the kind of reception and attention it deserves, thanked the Ministry of Sports, Royal Oman Police, Muscat Municipality and all the local authorities involved in arrangements for their wholehearted support to Oman Cricket, the game’s governing body in the Sultanate working overtime under the leadership of Kanak Khimji to make the event a great success.
The trophy will arrive at Muscat International Airport on August 27 morning and will be taken to the office of Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, before making an appearance at some of the most important and historic places in the capital including National Museum of Oman, Royal Palace, Jalali and Mirani forts and Muttrah as well as Royal Opera House Muscat. The first day’s activities will culminate with a grand reception at the picturesque Al Amerat Cricket grounds, followed by a host of colourful festivities. The trophy will be carried to the ground by Royal Oman Police horsewomen amid great fanfare and presented to the Minister of Sports Affairs. Royal Navy of Oman band will play the National Anthem followed by cultural songs. Cricket fans and families on the ground will be entertained by soft music played by a DJ and his team. School children and local teams will have a rare opportunity to be photographed with the prestigious World Cup Trophy.
“We invite everyone to come to the Amerat ground and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Madhu added.
The trophy will be taken to the office of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq al Said, Minister of Culture and Heritage and Patron of Oman Cricket, the next morning before making an appearance at the popular Oman Avenues Mall for a full public view, interactive session and photo shoots from 11 am to 3.30 pm. The two-day tour is sure to create unforgettable memories for cricket fans in the country who will get an opportunity to capture their moments with the World Cup Trophy.