Cricket board Chief Khimji says Cyclone Shaheen almost forced Oman to wave ‘goodbye’ to an event

Cricket board Chief Khimji says Cyclone Shaheen: Oman’s cricket president Pankaj Khimji said the country would have lost the tournament venue if deadly Cyclone Shaheen had taken a slightly different route.


  • Oman will host six Group B matches at Al Amerat near Muscat
  • Organisers were pleased with the greener look of the outfield following the intense rain
  • Eleven people were killed after Shaheen made landfall in Oman.

Oman would have missed the T20 World Cup if Cyclone Shaheen had taken a different route on Sunday. The president of the country’s cricket board said. Eleven people were killed when strong winds and rain hit the country after the cyclone made landfall in Oman.

The Gulf state will host six Group B games in Al Amerat near Muscat. Including three with its own team. And Oman cricket president Pankaj Khimji said they were “very happy” to have missed the worst of the storm.

“We were so close to being virtually wiped out,” Oman Cricket chairman Pankaj Khimji told Reuters.

“We had the cyclone only a few nautical miles north. It made landfall there and it devastated that whole region and flooded the whole plain over there. Had this happened over here in this area, I’d have said ‘Goodbye’ to the World Cup,” he said.

While a handful of hospitality tents took the brunt of the storm. Organizers were pleased with the greener appearance of the garden after the heavy rain.

“This cricket coming to Oman is gigantic,” he said.

Pankaj Khimji is new OC Chairman - Oman Cricket

“We got about three to four inches of rain,” said Khimji. “And that made the ground even lusher and greener, it looks even prettier now. It washed off all the dirt and sand.”

The tournament was moved from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman due to an increase in COVID19. And Khimji said it was a great honor for the minnows of the cricket world to host such a prestigious event.

“To think that there will be tens of millions of people watching the first game, it’s overwhelming to an extent.

“How often will an associate country get a chance to host and play in the World Cup at the same time? This is unreal, I’m living a dream.”

Zeeshan Maqsood will lead several Omani fans into the tournament. And Khimji was hoping to reach the Super 12 stage with a top 2 result in Group B. This also includes Bangladesh, Scotland, and Papua New Guinea.

“They have been fantastic. These are rank amateurs, they have a job which they do nine-to-five. And they’ve taken a month or two off just to compete in this World Cup.”

England arrived in Muscat on Tuesday to begin their 10-day prep camp before the Super 12 stage in the United Arab Emirates. The World Cup begins on October 17.

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