Instonians opening batsman Nikolai Smith has been called up to Italy’s national squad for their upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League Group B fixtures in Oman.

Starting on December 3, Italy will be one of six teams present in Oman as they take on Bermuda, Hong Kong, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda as all sides look to take a step closer to the 2023 World Cup.

All matches will have List A status with Italy kicking their campaign off against Kenya at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat – a venue where Ireland played just last month ahead of their T20 World Cup qualifying campaign in the United Arab Emirates.

26-year-old Smith has been a stalwart of Instonians side in recent years and made his First Class debut for the Northern Knights against the North West Warriors in May 2017.

In total, Smith has played in five First Class fixtures and six List A matches with the last coming in June 2018 against Leinster Lightning in Dublin where he scored 40.

Smith scored 668 runs in all competitions for Instonians last season at an average of 33.40 as he helped his club reach the Gallagher Challenge Cup final and T20 Cup semi-finals.

The Italian squad, which also contains Northamptonshire’s Gareth Berg, depart for the competition next week.