Uganda awaits ICC on hosting World Cricket Cup Challenge League

Thursday June 4 2020

On The Back Foot. Cricket Cranes players

On The Back Foot. Cricket Cranes players celebrate the early wicket of Kenyan batsman Alex Obanda during last year’s ICC Africa T20 World Cup Qualifiers at Lugogo Oval. Uganda are awaiting a decision from ICC. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Rescheduling events has become the norm for sports bodies globally after the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Uganda Cricket Association’s (UCA) plans to host the ICC World Cup Challenge League (WCCL) B round II in August are stalled after the government suspended sporting events on March 18.
The East African nation had initially planned to five other countries Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey and Kenya from August 3-13 for List A status matches as part of the qualifying process for the 2023 ODI World Cup.

But considering the state of events and time left until the tentative tournament dates, staging of the event could be revised.

“ICC is still monitoring the situation,” UCA CEO Martin Ondeko told this paper in a chat this week.

“We can’t tell at this point,” Ondeko said, “It depends on several factors such as government policies, ICC as well as the countries that will participate in the event.”

Daily Monitor understands that UCA has had interactions with the International Cricket Council (ICC) regards current atmosphere in the country that is; current coronavirus cases, rate of infections, whether or not borders are open, likelihood of opening up of lockdown and other activities.
“ICC asked about the situations in Uganda and they are doing that for all the countries supposed to participate in the tournament.”

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Even though the Cricket Cranes are training individually monitored by coaches Jackson Ogwang and Davis Turinawe, sport has not taken place in more than 75 days.

The country has reported almost 500 cases of coronavirus with 82 of those recovered. President Yoweri Museveni eased restrictions including public transport that resumes today but sport is still on hold.

Checking possibilities
“The ICC is monitoring the situation with all countries participating in the tournament to see what’s viable in terms of flights in and out, whether participants will be quarantined, what the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are. “They will have feedback from all the countries within at least seven days. I believe that’s when they will communicate officially the position,” added Ondeko.
During the first round of the WCCL in Oman last November, Uganda defeated all its five group opponents with top-order batsman Shahzad Ukani picking 275 runs in five innings and veteran spinner Frank Nsubuga taking eight scalps.
A lot of water has since gone under the bridge with Kenyan Steve Tikolo departing and Turinawe coming in as interim coach and a would-be warm-up ICC Africa T20 Cup in Kenya was called off.

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

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