Hong Kong have been ear marked as hosts of the first of three rounds of the newly created World Challenge League. The World Challenge League was created to replace the old World Cricket League Division format with the premise that associate nations will be to get more playing time.
The World Cricket League Div 3 tournament in Oman in 2018 Uganda was place in Pool B of the World Challenge League alongside neighbours Kenya, Italy, Bermuda, Jersey and Hong Kong. The six nations will get a chance to play over 15 ODIs against each other over 30 months will the team at the top of the table at the end of the round robin format going on to compete for a shot at the 2023 World Cup with the top associates.
The Cricket Cranes have had a forgettable international experience since 2017, apart from the success in Malaysia in 2018 when they won the Div 4 title they have failed to put up a credible performance in any other international competitions. The ICC Africa T20 World Cup qualifier in Kampala was the last competition for the cricket cranes where they missed out on qualification for the next round of qualifiers finishing a dismal fourth out of the six nations.
Steve Tikolo has a lot of work to do with the team ahead of the first round in Hong Kong, with some experienced players opting out of selection due to work and family commitments he will need to fast track apt of young players into the side.
The first round of the World Challenge League will be held from Nov 25th to Dec 10th. Home side Hong Kong has made changes to its technical bench with Irish Legendary fast bowler Trent Johnson appointed as captain.
The Cricket Cranes also started non residential training under the guidance of Steve Tikolo and his assistant Jackson Ogwang. A squad of 26 players was invited to start training which will be cut down to 18 at the end of he 1st month of training.
By Denis Musali