(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Members of Oman Cricket (OC) attended a workshop conducted by John Patrick Stephenson, assistant secretary and head of cricket at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London, UK, and member of the development council of the ICC, at the Al Falaj Hotel on Sunday.
Last summer, OC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the London-based body that governs cricket.
Speaking after the day-long workshop, Pankaj Khimji, a senior OC board member, said it is high time Oman gets a full-time chief development
officer (CDO), following its tie-up with the MCC.
He said, ''In accordance with what we discussed recently at OC's annual awards night, about grooming 1,000 cricketers over the next ten years, the panel has decided on appointing a CDO in the next few weeks. The CDO will be a professional and not be from the board.''
The panel on Sunday endorsed OC's plans to go ahead with the infrastructure development programme that includes laying of turf on Ground Two at Amerat, floodlights, outdoor nets, a clubhouse and a 2,000-seater stadium at Ground One.
OC also aims to develop grounds across the country and along with MCC will also set up an indoor school of excellence.
All the projects are expected to take around 18-24 months to be completed, according to OC.
Khimji said, ''We have decided to set up a grassroots cricket development programme under the supervision of the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Education. We will initially work with five private and five government schools to train around 200-250 kids in the first year. We are looking to begin this scheme at the start of the new semester in January and will be for five to ten-year-old children in primary schools.''
The technical scope of the infrastructure and the training will be vetted by the MCC. Stephenson said, ''Being part of the ICC's development committee, I believe in the three pillars of their strategy - participation, performance and promotion of cricket. At MCC, too, we strongly support in developing the game at the grassroots and I am glad it is finally taking off here.''
The MCC functionary added, ''We will provide support in terms of technical input into the master plan for the ground, coaching, soft skills for coaches, players and everyone associated with this project.
''We are excited about the future of Oman cricket and the region. It is going from strength to strength and this is the start of a very exciting projec