Oman- Cricket: Raha CT withdraws from domestic cricket seaso...| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 27 January 2023 03:48 GMT

Oman- Cricket: Raha CT withdraws from domestic cricket season


(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) It was in 2011 when former domestic champions Raha CT had pulled out of the Oman Cricket season for the first time surprising the game's lovers across the sultanate. The team made its comeback in 2013 and over the past few years had been playing competitive cricket in the top-flight league.

However, the team that boasts of a glorious history in domestic cricket, has once again decided to withdraw from the forthcoming 2017-2018 season.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on Saturday, Duleep Mendis, Oman Cricket's Chief Development Officer (CDO), confirmed the pullout of Raha for the new season, which begins in the second week of September.

'It is unfortunate that Raha has pulled out of the Oman Premier Division. The team has not given us any specific reasons for its withdrawal,' said Mendis, who is also the national team head coach. No comments were available when Muscat Daily tried to contact Raha CT officials for the reasons of the team's pullout from the top-flight league.

Raha's withdrawal and the relegation of 2016-17 Premier Division's bottom-placed team, Sinha CT, to A division has left the top-flight league with only five teams - Assarain CT, Muscat CT, Al Turki CT, Passage to India and Enhance Oman CT.

Mendis said that the quintet will feature in a triple-round league to decide the winner with the teams also involved in a T20 league.

The top Oman Cricket (OC) official said that with the implementation of new rules for Omani players, the National Youth Development Team (NYDT), winner of the A division league last season, will continue to stay put in the same division.

'The restrictions on Omani players to play with limited number of teams have led to the local players opt for their own teams rather than NYDT. And the main purpose of NYDT is to promote Omani talent.

'With majority of Omani players opting for their respective clubs, NYDT was left with very few Omani players. So in the team's best interest, it has been decided to let NYDT remain in the A division,' said Mendis. 'For the first time, the

A division will be a 50-over-a-side competition like the Premier division and will be played on turf ground,' he added.

The new season will have nine teams in the A division though ten teams battled out for top honours during last season.

Four-year rule for WCL Division Two

Oman is set to play in the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Two next year, where the format allows teams to field all expat players who have been in respective countries for four years and more.

'This rule is a boost for us and our selectors will be able to scout for a larger pool of players. We will have more players eligible to play for Oman,' he said.

'We will now be closely monitoring the A division teams and this is one of the reasons why they will be playing the 50-over format,' said the Mendis.

Among the other highlights of the forthcoming season will be the introduction of match referees for the Premier and A division matches.

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