Mumbai: Former Sri Lanka captain, who also served Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as its CEO is over the moon when the team Oman he is coaching now secured the ODI status for the first time in the history.
Speaking exclusively over telephone, Mendis said, "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".
"We beat all good teams like USA, Hong Kong, Namibia and Canada".
"When I joined Oman team six years ago, they were in Division 5 at that time and it was my ambition to ensure team gets the ODI status and I am successful in my target".
"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".
"Now we will be planning better things for our cricket. My interest lies with Oman and Oman cricket", he said.
Mendis, however, did not forget to give credit to Sri Lanka.
"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", he concluded....