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Team Oman begin title defence today.

Byline: T.K. Mohandoss

MUSCAT Eoe1/4" Team Oman will begin their title defence in the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Tournament with a opener against Bahrain today at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Team Oman led by Hemal Mehta had shared the cup with hot favourites Afghanistan in the last edition played in Kuwait and this time they would love to enjoy the moment of glory all to themselves, especially after the disappointing show in the ICC World Cup qualifiers.

Kuwait had finished third in the previous edition as hosts and this time they too look to improve.

The confident-looking squad is already in Abu Dhabi and is being coached by Mazhar Salim and advised by ACC development officer Iqbal Sikander.


Afghanistan, an ODI nation now after their exemplary show in South Africa in April, are tipped to win this tournament, but Oman have different intentions. Also strong are hosts the UAE, along with Hong Kong, Nepal and Singapore. Fitness is going to count for a hell of a lot as is the will to win.

The ACC Twenty20 also provides the international debut of Al Dhaid Cricket Village, a seven-ground facility near the centre of the UAE, which is another Bukhatir project following Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Dubai Sports City. Al Dhaid hosts ten of the tournamentEoe1/4aos 38 matches including a semifinal. ODI grounds Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Abu DhabiEoe1/4aos Sheikh Zayed Stadium are the other venues, with the latter hosting the final on November 30.

The event also marks the first time that China are playing international T20 cricket and though not much is expected of them, they could cause an upset or two.

China are special invitees as a result of them having automatic qualification into the Guangzhou Asian Games in November 2010, where they and the best Asian national teams from ICC Associate and Affiliate level that submit teams to the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee will be playing in a T20 event featuring India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Asian Games

The top three teams from this tournament will join Bangladesh, China (being the host nation), India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the cricket tournament at the 2010 Asian Games.

Each team will play every other team in its group once, and the top two teams from each group will progress to the semifinals.

There will be ranking playoffs to determine the position of each team.

Group A: UAE, Afghanistan, China, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

Group B: Nepal, Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

Schedule: (Match times according to Oman Eoe1/4" 9.30amEoe1/4" 12.30pm and 1.30pmEoe1/4" 4.30pm) November 22: Bahrain v Oman at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi; Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia at Sheikh Zayed; UAE v Singapore at Sharjah Cricket Stadium; Malaysia v Nepal at Sharjah Cricket Stadium; Afghanistan v China at Al Dhaid Cricket Village, Sharjah; Kuwait v Qatar at Al Dhaid Cricket Village, Sharjah.

November 23: Oman v Qatar at Sheikh Zayed; Kuwait v Nepal at Sheikh Zayed; Afghanistan v Singapore at Sharjah C.S.; China v Saudi Arabia at Sharjah C.S.; UAE v Hong Kong at Al Dhaid; Bahrain v Malaysia at Al Dhaid.

November 24: Afghanistan v Hong Kong at Sheikh Zayed; China v Singapore at Sheikh Zayed; Nepal v Oman at Sharjah C.S.; Bahrain v Qatar at Sharjah C.S.; UAE v Saudi Arabia at Al Dhaid; Kuwait v Malaysia at Al Dhaid.

November 26: UAE v China at Sheikh Zayed; Bahrain v Kuwait at Sheikh Zayed; Malaysia v Oman at Sharjah C.S.; Nepal v Qatar at Sharjah C.S.; Afghanistan v Saudi Arabia at Al Dhaid; Hong Kong v Singapore at Al Dhaid.

November 27: UAE v Afghanistan at Sheikh Zayed; Malaysia v Qatar at Sheikh Zayed; Kuwait v Oman at Sharjah C.S.; China v Hong Kong at Sharjah C.S.; Saudi Arabia v Singapore at Al Dhaid; Bahrain v Nepal at Al Dhaid;

November 29: 11th/12th place Playoff (A6 v B6) at Sheikh Zayed; 7th/8th place Playoff (A4 v B4) at Sheikh Zayed; Semifinal 1 (A1 v B2) at Sharjah C.S; 5th/6th place Playoff (A3 v B3) at Sharjah C.S; Semifinal 2 (A2 v B1) at Al Dhaid; 9th/10th place Playoff (A5 v B5) at Al Dhaid.

November 30: 3rd/4th place Playoff (Loser SF1 v Loser SF2) at Sheikh Zayed; Final (Winner SF1 v Winner SF2) at Sheikh Zayed.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 22, 2009
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