A group of expatriates have innovatively employed a wadi in the city to pursue their favourite sport – cricket.
This pitch has come up on the Wadi Kabir bed at a expense of RO600 and these guys are a group of Indian and Pakistani expatriates employed with a city bakery who divide themselves into two teams to take on each and every other in a game of cricket.
Akram, an Indian expat, is the non-playing captain and official scorer as nicely. He stated, “We play on Fridays and Saturdays. This is a source of recreation for us. It keeps us physically active too. All teammates are colleagues. We are open to outsiders too who join us from time to time.”
Since the wadi is filled with pebbles, tiny rocks and sand, pursuing the sport became tough, that is when the team decided to pool in and construct a pitch. “We pooled in around RO600 and built a standard 22-yard pitch. If you look around, other teams too have constructed concrete pitches.”
He stated there are expats who play on their pitch in the morning hours throughout weekends. “There are many expatriate groups who play in the wadi. Some come in the early morning and some in the evening. The pitches stay occupied.”
Akram guides fielding positions like MS Dhoni, the Indian wicketkeeper, but from the sidelines. “Depending upon the availability of players, it’s a six-a-side or nine-a-side match over 10 or 12 overs.”
He stated scoring in this new 22-yard pitch is tough. “Earlier, we used to play on a pitch half this size and the average score used to be 220-240 runs in 12 overs but now the players struggle to score even half of that.”
The match generally begins at four-four.30pm when the sun is nonetheless out in complete force. “The trees on the wadi bed are resting locations for the batting team. The matches assist to develop camaraderie which shows in workplace as well. We do not play only amongst ourselves. We repair matches with other teams as well.
“Sometimes the matches are held in Rusayl or Ghala. Cricket is a favourite sport amongst expatriates. We have individuals who come and appreciate the sport from the sidelines.”
When asked regardless of whether permission has been taken from the authorities for the building of the pitch, Akram stated, “This pitch does not hamper the flow of the water. “We have been playing here for the past one and a half year. It was constructed keeping in mind that it would not come in the way of the flowing water.”
An official with the Muscat Municipality stated, “The wadi helps to regulate the flow of rainwater during heavy rain. No permanent construction is allowed inside wadi that will hinder the flow of the water. If it does, we will demolish it.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily