Hemal Mehta

Hemal Mehta, Oman captain

"It is going to be a really challenging tournament. We are playing back to back World Cup Qualifiers after the one in 2006. This is going to be a good tournament because we have a good history behind us and in Windhoek (in World Cricket League Division 2) we did well against strong opponents and in the ACC Twenty20 tournament we were joint champions. It will be challenging but we are upbeat about this year’s tournament."

"We have started our preparatory camp since August 2008 and we have had four to five days a week sessions. These sessions were more focused on fitness and fielding sessions. We played in the ACC Trophy Challenge and we were champions and now have that fair bit of turf experience which we were missing in Oman. We have also been to Sri Lanka for a five-match tour so that we are better geared for the Qualifier."


Winners of the 2009 ACC Trophy Challenge

"As a team we have to play good cricket to win against good opponents. We are concentrating on qualifying for the semi-finals of this tournament and it will be hard. In the last Qualifiers we had played against Namibia, Uganda and Canada. We won against Namibia and Uganda and were very close to winning it with Canada. With Ireland and Scotland, we have just played them once and if the wickets are cricket-friendly it would lead up to our expectations."

"If we do qualify there will be a lot of local interest and that is going to be a huge leap for the game. Oman has never participated at the highest level in any sport and it will be very good for cricket if we play in World Cup 2011."

Complete interviews at: http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/cwcq/audio.html

ICC World Cup Qualifier 2009
Asia’s Way to World Cup 2011

Filed March 24, 2009