KAMPALA. Although the Cricket Cranes bagged the wooden spoon on their maiden visit to Muscat at the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III last year, Uganda have welcomed world governing body’s decision to move the latest Associate members meet from Hong Kong to Oman.
In an ICC communique released yesterday, Oman Cricket will now host the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League B between December 2 and 12.
The change of host venue was necessitated due to the ongoing demonstrations within the city of Hong Kong, resulting in logistical challenges and therefore the smooth-running of the event.
With the change in venue, the event will now commence seven days later than originally scheduled, starting in the scenic town of Al Amerat - a city in Muscat – where Uganda is a little familiar with already.
Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda will travel to Oman to play in the first of three Challenge League B events on the Road to India 2023 World Cup, with 15 matches taking place in the 10-day event.
ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said: “We have worked extremely closely with Cricket Hong Cricket and our security advisors to assess the changing situation in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing demonstrations, the consequential safety concerns and potential for disruption to event arrangements, we have decided the best course of action is to relocate the event.
Cricket Cranes team manager Jackson Kavuma welcomed ICC’s decision to make the host venue known to all participating countries immediately.
“It was always important for them to inform us so that we make proper acclimatization programmes,” Kavuma told Daily Monitor.
“We weren’t worthy visitors last time round. But this event gives us a chance to make amends and perform better. We are very familiar with Muscat’s conditions and Oman Cricket treat us like brothers. It will be like a homecoming for us.”
UCA CEO Martin Ondeko, too, was happy. “Hong Kong being a new venue for us was going to be a tough tour. But Oman gives us relief because we have been there before. The team should be excited that they are going to operate in familiar territory.”
Ondeko also confirmed that the team is scheduled to for a six-game build-up tour in Zimbabwe on November 3. The 16-man team currently undergoing non-residential training at Lugogo and Kyambogo will play Old Hararians, Zimbabwe U-19s, Takashinga and Takashinga U-23s between November 3-10.
2019-21 CHALLENGE LEAGUE
Duration: 2019-2021, Format: List A
Format: Round-Robin, Leagues: 2
Teams: 12, Fixtures: TBA
LEAGUE A: Canada, Singapore, Denmark, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Qatar
LEAGUE B: Hong Kong, Kenya, Uganda, Jersey, Bermuda, Italy