Oman Cricket has reached an agreement in principle to host Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands for a quadrangular T20I series early next year for the first ever T20I series to be played in Oman. Ireland's participation would also mark the first ever visit by a Test nation to play matches in Oman.
The announcement of the quadrangular series was made by Oman Cricket officials during a victory function held for the team after their undefeated run at WCL Division Three on home soil earlier this week. Multiple sources from the other teams confirmed that the series has been tentatively scheduled for February 10-17 at the Oman Cricket Academy in Al Amerat.
All four teams participated in the opening round of the 2016 World T20 in India, during which Oman scored a famous win over Ireland. As a result of their appearance in India, all four countries have been exempted from participating in the regional qualifying process leading into the 2020 World T20 in Australia and instead have been fast-tracked into the global qualifier.
According to a source, the global qualifier is scheduled for October 2019 at a venue yet to be determined. By virtue of their exemption from regional qualifying, all four teams are keen for opportunities to play in the lead-up to the global qualifier in October and this series provides them that.
The three European sides staged a T20I tri-series held in the Netherlands last June, which Scotland won after sweeping both matches against Netherlands and tying Ireland once to end on five points. That was Scotland's last T20I series whereas the Netherlands have since played a one-off T20I against Nepal in July at Lord's that ended with no result. Meanwhile, Ireland lost a three-match series at home to Afghanistan this past August in their most recent T20I action.
While the Oman Cricket Academy has two grounds that would allow for matches to be played simultaneously, the main turf ground is equipped with stadium floodlights. Such infrastructure may provide a good simulation exercise for conditions at the global qualifier later in October as well as for the 2020 World T20 in Australia.
Aside from the recently concluded WCL Division Three tournament, Oman has hosted two prior series at the Al Amerat facility. UAE toured for three one-day matches in April 2017 ahead of Oman's participation at WCL Division Three in Uganda a month later. USA also toured in December 2017 for three one-day matches while the Oman Cricket Academy building, which includes seven indoor nets, was still under construction.