Oman continues to make strides after the Oman Cricket Academy Ground 1 was confirmed for use as a Test venue.
The recognition comes ahead of Afghanistan’s planned series against Zimbabwe in February, while several reports suggest that Afghanistan are exploring the possibility of permanently using Oman as a new ‘home’ venue for international cricket. The Al-Amerat complex outside Muscat has already hosted numerous international series - including ODIs and T20Is - and is seen as one of the best facilities in Associate cricket.
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.
Zimbabwe tour of Oman uncertain
Zimbabwe’s trip to Oman may be in doubt however, after the government in Harare implemented stringent new lockdown measures in response to the growing outbreak of COVID-19. Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) announced the immediate suspension of all sporting activity, which saw the planned women’s series against Namibia postponed. Originally scheduled for the 11th-20th January in Walvis Bay with four T20Is and three 50-over matches, the series would have been the first action for both teams in over a year - and the first assignment for new women’s coach Francois van der Merwe. With cases spiking in both countries, it remains unclear when the matches will be played, but van der Merwe announced a national training camp to substitute for the missed cricket.
Nepal’s Kundan Singh passes away
Sad news this week from Nepal, where the cricket community is grieving the death of batsman Kundan Singh, who played domestically before being hit by a combination of medical problems. He regularly received dialysis after both his kidneys failed, and last year contracted the coronavirus. Despite recovering from COVID-19, he was unable to afford the procedure for a kidney transplant and it is reported he died of complications related to that condition. He was 25.
Shocked to hear about untimely demise of Kundan Singh. Gone too soon. May his departed soul rest in peace. May God give strength to his family.😞— Sandeep Lamichhane (@Sandeep25) January 10, 2021
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