23 March 2012
A Club Cricket Conference tour party, selected from the best players among 1,000 member clubs in the south of the country, leaves Heathrow for Oman on Saturday, 24 March, for a week-long five-match tour playing indigenous Omani and expatriate players. The matches, variously of 20, 30, 35 and 50 overs duration, will be played on the new Al Amerat Cricket Ground outside Muscat.
Simon Prodger, the MCC and former Minor Counties player, is the tour manager and is assisted by coach Min Patel (Kent and England). The captain is Mark Smith, of Cheam CC. Included among the players are twin brothers Adnam and Arfan Akram, from Wanstead CC, and Donovan Miller, of Woodford Wells CC. Miller is also a coach with the charity, Cricket4Change. A small party of supporters are accompanying the team, and the itinerary includes reception and farewell dinners and a dhow trip.
The tour has attracted a large degree of interest in the Oman national press where there has been a growth in interest in cricket. The shorter formats of the game have increased in popularity through the increasing presence of cricket in the neighbouring UAE, through the global television networks and the changing face of cricket on the subcontinent.
The fixtures are against a Muscat XI, an Oman CC XI of Omani nationals, the national team and an Oman A team of a mixed Omani nationals and expatriates. The tour is the culmination of a selection process to find some of the best club players outside of the professional game achieved by a programme of new and traditional summer fixtures over the past year against strong opposition.
The Club Cricket Conference was established in 1915 and is the oldest and largest organisation representing the interests of club cricket in the country. The modern-day organisation is helping the ECB to further the cause of recreational cricket and, above all, to increase the number of adult players. The Conference is now looking beyond its established heartlands in the south of England and is working closely with the ECB and the Midlands Club Cricket and League Cricket conferences to establish a wider range of support measures for clubs and park teams to create a stronger and more representative body in support of the recreational game.
Club Cricket Conference in Oman
Mark Smith (capt, Cheam)
Adnan Akram (Wanstead)
Arfan Akram (Wanstead)
Sam Burge (East Molesey)
James Cramp (Hartley Country Club)
Efren Cruz (Farncombe)
Tom Deighton (Ashtead)
Justin Granger (Sunbury)
Richard Hindley (Havant)
Scott Kirwan (Hyde CC, Cheshire)
Donovan Miller (Woodford Wells)
Liam Mitchell (Welwyn Garden City)
Simon Routh (Tunbridge Wells)
Chris Williams (Tunbridge Wells)
Kirwan was nominated by the League Cricket Conference