Oman Cricket’s Secretary Madhu Jesrani has admitted that hosting the World T20 is beyond their dreams but insisted that the association will deliver the tournament safe and sound. Jesrani also gave an insight into the conditions, stating that it will be like sub-continent pitches, helping spinners.
With the World T20 moving to the Middle East, the International Cricket Council (ICC) earmarked Oman as a host for the tournament’s qualifier stage. While Oman hasn’t yet hosted an international fixture for full-time nations, it has slowly become part and parcel of associate cricket.
However, that meant that the facilities at the venue would not be of ICC standards, which would then require a lot of work. Oman Cricket’s Secretary Madhu Jesrani stated that hosting the global tournament is beyond their dreams but insisted that the nation will deliver the tournament safely without any worries. Being the co-hosts of the tournament, Jesrani also added that they are receiving full support from the Oman government for hosting the tournament.
"Hosting an ICC event is beyond our dreams. We are receiving full support from the Oman government, and our priority is to deliver the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 safely," Jesrani told India Today.
Jesrani also opened up on the issues, stating that the country doesn’t have a stadium yet but added that the construction of it already underway. He also aded that the lighting needs an upgrade, alongside the scoreboards for the qualifier stage of the global event.
"We don't have stadiums; we have got two grounds. On one ground, we have two dressing rooms. On the other ground, construction is underway. Apart from that, the floodlights are also not of a high standard, and we will have to upgrade the lighting. Also, the scoreboards are small and we need to change that as well, and there will be a live TC screen, too," said Jesrani.
"A team of BCCI and ICC will visit Oman next week to take stalk of preparation, and then only I guess we will be able to know how many matches Oman is going to host," he added.
With the Middle East set to house pitches that are similar to the subcontinent, Jesrani admitted that the pitches in Oman won’t be drastically different, adding that it will help the spinners.
"It will be like sub-continent pitches. You can say that it might help the spinners," Jesrani said.
While football remains the most popular sport in Oman, with their country ranked 80th in the FIFA Rankings, Jesrani insisted that hosting the World T20 might come as a big boost for cricket as a sport in the country. He also added that it will help the country build upon their already existing and established fan base for the sport.
"The popularity of cricket has increased. It has now become the second sport behind football in schools and colleges. Hosting the T20 will be a big boost for us as the local team (Oman) will also be playing in it, and it will help to create more fan base in cricket," said Jesrani.