Oman women’s cricket is well known for their indomitable spirit, this time as the male cricket team found their place in World cup, influenced by them the girls have created a new record and achieved success abroad.
Recently the T20 Triangular Tournament was organized in Doha by QCA where the Oman cricket team which was full of youngsters performed way better than the experienced opposition. All the matches of this series were live telecasted on YouTube which helped the tournament to find its viewers and interest in women’s Cricket. Though Oman couldn’t clinch victory in the finals, they played with the best of their spirits and a lot of hard work on the field.
In an exclusive interview with Times of Oman, Captain Vaishali Jesrani said there were many firsts for this young team. “They played for the first time under the aegis of ICC, and it was a maiden appearance for the team in the T20I. It was also a debut appearance for all the players under the ICC umbrella, they qualified for the final and also brought home the runners-up trophy,” said Vaishali, brimming with confidence.
In the final, as Priyada Murali of Kuwait lead the side to a seven-wicket victory over Oman, there were many positives for the Omani team as Priyanka Edna bagged the player of the tournament while her teammate Bhakti Shetty won the title – bowler of the tournament.
The team captain said, “It was a great learning experience for the young team. Every match at the international level gives you a learning opportunity. We need to analyze our loopholes and plug the gap for better results in the future. Most of the matches were keenly contested with the win or loss being decided in the last over. The single-digit margin of victory itself suggests how tough the contest was.”
The captain of the side sincerely appreciated all the efforts made by the Qatar Cricket Association and the support for her team during matches in Doha, which eventually made them feel at home. Heaping praise on her coaches Sajith Kumar and Haider Ali, she said, “They worked hard with the team to improve the skills of players. The team physio Vijay did an excellent job with his cricketing drills and practice sessions to boost the fitness of girls, and they thanked Oman Cricket for believing in their abilities and giving them wholehearted support.”
When asked about the future of women’s cricket and bench strength, Vaishali said, “Today we are much better placed than we were a few years ago. The bench strength has increased as a new pool of talents has arrived. But football being a popular sport in this part of the world, we need to devote more time and money to cricket.”
“Though cricket demands larger space, we need to provide even a plastic bat to budding talents in schools so that we can nurture them for the future. Moreover, the gender barrier between boys and girls should be removed so that they get more chances of interaction and this will also help increase competition,” she added.
Satisfied with the performance of his girls, team coach Haider Ali said, “This is a talented bunch of cricketers who worked very hard during their 10-week training before leaving for Qatar. And finally, their hard work and perseverance have paid off. Our team performed very well against sides better than us on paper. The team has almost half a dozen new faces but they played like veterans on the field. They have learned to handle pressure situations but it is the win that matters and increases your confidence. Hope they will continue with their fighting spirit and winning momentum in the future.”
He highly appreciated performances of Vaishali, Priyanka, Sakshi, Bhakti, Fiza, Anshitha, and Physio Vijay for his support in keeping the team members in top gear. “A team from Germany would be arriving soon for playing matches and we are geared up for the face-off,” said Haider along with thanking the support staff and OCA for letting them play in such a positive environment.
Source : Pankaj Kumar Sharma for Times of Oman
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