Oman Cricket Chairman, Pankaj Khimji: Son of world's only Hindu Sheikh

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 21, 2021, 01:55 PM(IST)

Pankaj Khimji Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Pankaj's father, Sheikh Kanaksi Khimji, the family's late patriarch and chairman of the Khimji Ramdas Group of Companies, was the world's only Hindu Sheikh, having been bestowed with the title by the Sultan of Oman in recognition of his contributions to the country's economy over the years.

Oman is hosting six matches in the first round of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, and Oman Cricket Chairman Pankaj Khimji feels that hosting such a high-profile tournament would boost the sport in the area.

Following an increase in Covid cases in India last year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which was meant to host the event, frantically sought another location.

While they were able to affirm that the UAE will host the Super 12 stage of the tournament, they were unsure about hosting the opening round of the mega event.

Pankaj Khimji, a famous member of Oman's illustrious Khimji Ramdas family, stepped up and accepted the task of organising the qualifying round in Oman despite the lack of any existing infrastructure suitable of holding such an international event.

Soon, a lot of interest was generated about Pankaj, particularly because of his Indian origin. His family's connections to Oman go back more than a century.

Pankaj's father, Sheikh Kanaksi Khimji, the family's late patriarch and chairman of the Khimji Ramdas Group of Companies, was the world's only Hindu Sheikh, having been bestowed with the title by the Sultan of Oman in recognition of his contributions to the country's economy over the years.

Pankaj's grandpa, Ramdas Thackersey, travelled to the busy commercial ports of Muscat to make a living 144 years ago, when the Middle East was still unaware of the treasures beneath their feet: oil and natural gas.

The business empire founded by Ramdas would flourish to the point that, at one point in history, the Khimji family would lend money to the Sultan of Oman.

Oman is in Group B of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifying Stages, alongside Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, and Scotland.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the Super 12 Stages.

Khimji lavishes praise on the BCCI, claiming that the cricket body is extremely efficient and that everything is in order.

(With inputs from agencies)

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