It’s all systems go

Dream Team. From L-R: Bagaya, Katkar, Tournament Director Ligyalingi, Tinka, UCA chairman Ansasira, LOC chairman Kaheru, UCA secretary Kamara, UCA Operations Manager Ondeko and Mulondo are the men charged with delivering a flawless event. Inset below is the then Cricket Cranes skipper Joel Olweny when Uganda won the first ever Div. III tourney in Darwin, Australia in 2007. Photo by AMINAH BABIRYE Dream Team. From L-R: Bagaya, Katkar, Tournament Director Ligyalingi, Tinka, UCA chairman Ansasira, LOC chairman Kaheru, UCA secretary Kamara, UCA Operations Manager Ondeko and Mulondo are the men charged with delivering a flawless event. Inset below is the then Cricket Cranes skipper Joel Olweny when Uganda won the first ever Div. III tourney in Darwin, Australia in 2007. Photo by AMINAH BABIRYE

In 2014, Uganda won the right to host the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three event but later lost the honours to Malaysia on grounds of insecurity.

If there were any inklings of doubt that some changes would still arise, they well were buried after Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) officially launched the 2017 ICC WCL Division Three showpiece on Friday. “We are pleased to host the world,” UCA Chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira, flanked by Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Paul Kaheru and Tournament Director Justine Ligyalingi, said in front of a full house at Copper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo.

This event will take place from May 23-31 at Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe ovals as Uganda and five other nations compete for two promotion slots to Division Two.

“Our team is very well motivated. We have stayed too long in Division Three. We can do better. I urge the Ugandans to turn up in large numbers to support their team and also catch a glimpse of priceless action at no cost,” added Ansasira. Kaheru announced his 12-man committee that includes Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of General Duties Andrew Sorowen, who is responsible for security.

Other notable names are Martin Ondeko (transport), Innocent Ndawula (media and communications), Rita Tinka (catering), Dr. David Meya (medical), Eric Kamara (liaison), Alvin Bagaya (accommodation) and Kenneth Mulondo for accreditation.

Significant steps
Clearly, it is all systems go as UCA has taken significant steps in organising the grounds as well as tightening the security grip ahead of the six-nation tournament.

“The grounds are playing much better and we received plaudits from Team Kenya in the just-concluded Easter Series,” noted Hanumant Katkar, LOC member in charge of the grounds.

“We have been tested by the weather but our grounds men are showing resolve that we can deliver the best grounds and wickets in the history of WCL.”

There was further assurance on security in Sorowen’s absence. 
“We had lessons to learn in 2015,” UCA CEO Ligyalingi told this paper.

“This time, we have worked with the higher levels like the office of the IGP, Ministry of Education and Sports and the Office of the First Lady. There have been joint meetings with resolutions approved by ICC for security at the hotels, grounds and the routes to the venues.”

Bagaya revealed that Hotel Africana is the official teams’ hotel.

And in a bid to foot the Shs1b budget for the tournament, UCA has sought external financial support.

“We have gone out with a strong campaign seeking for local partners and government to assist us as we need about Shs700m for local preparations and requirements minus the national team bill.” Ligyalingi added.

THE UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS
April 29 - May 7: Saudi Arabia Tour 
May 23 - 31 2017: ICC WCL Division III

2017 ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE - DIVISION III 
PARTICIPATING NATIONS
Uganda: 5th 2015 ICC WCL Division Two
Canada: 6th 2015 ICC WCL Division Two
Malaysia: 3rd 2014 ICC WCL Division Three
Singapore: 4th 2014 ICC WCL Division Three
USA: 1st 2016 ICC WCL Division Four
Oman: 2nd 2016 ICC WCL Division Four

By DARREN A. KYEYUNE & MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

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