Oman Coach Duleep Mendis Treads New Path After Playing for Sri Lanka
Oman Team coach and Sri Lankan star Duleep Mendis is over the moon for his team’s promotion. Beyond the batting struggles, the team is set to leave a significant impact following the One-day International status. Thus, Oman has become the second Gulf country to achieve the milestone after the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
However, former Sri Lankan skipper admits the facts that the Island nation will always stay in his heart. Whereas, his job has pushed him to repay what he has achieved through cricketer during his heydays.
The 1992 Sri Lankan’s World Cup-winning player said he is proud to nurse the young talent. He has credited Sri Lanka for giving him a platform to exhibit.
“Sri Lanka is always in my heart because I captained Sri Lanka and I am proud of it. It is the same thing when I was playing for Sri Lanka and our team won the World Cup in 1996”, Mendis told Deccan Chronicle.
Recently, Oman has impressed one and all by thrashing Hong Kongs apart from Canada, Namibia and the United States of America (USA) respectively.
Duleep Mendis’ road to Oman:
The veteran Lankan cricketer Mendis revealed that he had joined Oman way back in 2013 when the team was placed in Division 5. However, the gradual progress has helped the team to tick all the boxes.
“When I joined Oman team six years ago, they were in Division 5 at that time and it was my ambition to ensure the team gets the ODI status and I am successful in my target,” Mendis said.
In the recent past, Mendis has also served as the CEO for Sri Lanka cricket. He added the boys had made him proud by playing an aggressive brand of cricket.
“Now we will be planning better things for our cricket. My interest lies with Oman and Oman cricket”, Mendis remarked.
While backing the team, he reiterated the players have shown enough maturity to challenge the good teams in the competition.
Mendis remarked Oman had a lot on offer despite being ranking 5th in overall six teams.
“When we came here to play in World Cup League 2, our team was ranked 5th out of six teams. There were four other teams in front of us. But the way our boys were practicing and playing here before coming from Oman. I knew that our team would make impact,” Mendis added.
In between, Mendis has hailed Oman Cricket Board (OCB) presided by Kanakshi Khimji. He cited the support from the authorities have made this achievement possible which is great news for Oman in itself.
“We have gradually climbed the ladder. And the credit should also go to the Oman Cricket Board headed by Kanakshi Khimji and sincere thanks to other officials-Pankaj Khimji and Madhusinh Jesrani. Without their support, this would not have been possible. This is the biggest achievement for the players and Oman people,” Mendis concluded.
While expressing satisfaction regarding overall results, Mendis wants to streamline Oman Cricket for yet another glory in the time to come.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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