Earlier, the secluded Oman Cricket Academy (OCA) Ground in Al Amerat have already met the standards set by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to host Tests having previously hosted limited overs matches.It means, the middle Eastern country of Oman is set to commence its maiden Test cricket following the announcement of a bilateral series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in the country.
“ICC accreditation has put us in an elite club of test cricket hosts and we are very proud to have reached that level,” Oman Cricket said on Wednesday. “Hosting Test matches and white-ball cricket on a regular basis will surely lead to more interest in the game of cricket in a football-crazy country.” The Al-Amerat complex outside Muscat has already hosted numerous international series including ODIs and T20Is.
The stadium is seen as one of the best facilities in Associate cricket. However, the final schedule for the two Test and three Twenty20 Internationals has yet to be finalized and remains uncertain due to coronavirus travel restrictions. In the past, the nomadic team has based themselves out of grounds in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India.
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If the Zimbabwe series goes ahead, Oman will become just the fifth ICC Associate Member to host a Test match, after Bangladesh held the final of the Asian Test Championship in 1999, Ireland’s women played at home against Pakistan in 2000, Pakistan’s men beat the West Indies in Sharjah in 2002, and the Netherlands women hosted South Africa in 2007.
Oman are relative newcomers to cricket’s global stage, with their only appearance at a major tournament coming at the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, where they upset Ireland in their debut outing. The sultanate would become the second non-Test playing nation to host the game’s longest form after neighbouring UAE.
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