The unwavering spirit of Oman’s cricket fans

by | Jun 3, 2024 | 0 comments

MUSCAT – Embarking on a journey spanning over 12,130 kilometres from the vibrant capital of Oman, Muscat, to the sun-kissed shores of Bridgetown, Barbados, requires more than just time — it demands an unwavering passion for cricket. 

For Vinu Mathew, his family, and their friend Ikram Sadat, this arduous voyage that entailed over 25 hours of travel to support Oman’s national cricket team in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 epitomised not only their dedication to the sport but also their pride in representing their nation in the heart of the Caribbean, a region renowned for producing cricketing legends.

Forming a formidable group affectionately known as the “fabulous five” their collective presence marked a small but significant representation of Oman-based supporters amidst the roaring crowd at the Kensington Oval ground, underscoring their commitment to the sport and their nation.

Mathew, a prominent figure within Oman’s cricketing community as the manager of two prestigious domestic teams, the Oman Stallions and Yalla Shabab, wears the badge of a fervent Oman supporter with pride. Having traversed the globe to witness Oman’s triumphs in various international tournaments, including their historic victory over Ireland in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 in Dharamshala, India, he exuded admiration for his team’s journey to prominence.

Expressing his sentiments ahead of Oman’s clash with Namibia in Bridgetown, Mathew reflected on the evolution of Oman cricket, a narrative he has closely followed for decades. His unwavering support extends beyond mere fandom; it embodies a deep-rooted connection to the players he has nurtured and mentored within Oman’s domestic cricketing framework, now poised to shine on the global stage. 

Mathew said, “I am proud of this team. I have been closely following Oman cricket for now decades and am lucky to see the success story of the national team. In fact, I have witnessed all of Oman’s T20 World Cup games so far First in 2016 in India and then in 2021 when Oman co-hosted with the UAE.”

Accompanied by his wife, Bonnie, a fellow aficionado of Oman cricket, along with his children Ryan and Rhea, Mathew’s family symbolises the collective spirit of Omani cricket enthusiasts who rally behind their team with unyielding fervour.

For Ikram Sadat, a former domestic cricketer and a well-known team manager, witnessing Oman’s ascent to the pinnacle of international cricket represents the realisation of a lifelong aspiration. 

His presence alongside the Mathew family underscores the camaraderie shared among Oman’s cricketing fraternity, united in their shared dream of witnessing their beloved team create history on the grandest stage of them all. Sadat remarked, “Watching our boys play at the biggest stage is like living a dream.”

As they bask in the electrifying atmosphere of Bridgetown, the “fabulous five” stand as proud ambassadors of the Sultanate, their unwavering support serving as an example of inspiration for Oman’s national team. With hopes of witnessing their team orchestrate memorable upsets and progress to the tournament’s latter stages, they remain steadfast in their belief that their presence may indeed serve as the fortuitous charm Oman requires to etch their name in T20 World Cup folklore.

Photo caption: From right Vinu Mathew, Bonnie, Rhea, Ikram Sadat, Ryan in Bridgetown

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