Dublin: Oman’s fairytale rise as a cricket nation continued Thursday when they qualified for next year’s World Twenty20 in India. A five-wicket win over Namibia at the ICC qualifying event in Malahide near Dublin saw the Gulf minnows reach their first major international tournament.
Victory also saw the International Cricket Council grant Oman, coached by former Sri Lanka captain Duleep Mendis, and with ex-England all-rounder Derek Pringle recently recruited as a technical advisor, full Twenty20 status.
Oman had previously beaten Canada, the Netherlands and Afghanistan, all far more experienced associate or non-Test cricket nations, at the qualifying tournament.
Afghanistan sealed the other qualifying spot on offer Thursday with a six-wicket win over Papua New Guinea.
It was the fourth successive time that Afghanistan — who competed at this year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand — had qualified for the World Twenty20.
The 16 teams who will compete in the finals phase of the World Twenty20 are the 10 Test sides, plus qualifiers Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Afghanistan and Oman.