Following Team Uganda’s dismal outing at the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand back in January, the cricket fraternity hurt after the nation was relegated to the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three tier.
But five months later, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) can afford a sigh of relief knowing the onus is in their hands after ICC announced that the country will host the same event from October 26 - November 2 yesterday.
And UCA officials could not hide their enchantment upon their successful bid having failed to host it last year.
“We feel excited to be given such an opportunity to host a high profile event,” a calm but delighted UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“Last year, Bermuda hosted because the Americans had never hosted any international event and were also spurred by financial backing from their government,” Ligyalingi explained.
“This time, we earned the rights to host because of guaranteed security and government backing through State Minister for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi, who assured ICC officials at the recent Africa Cricket Association (ACA) meeting here.”
As part of the 2012-18 WCL road map to the 2019 ODI World Cup, Uganda will be joined by Bermuda, Nepal, USA and the top two teams from WCL Div. 4 (to be played in Singapore from 21 to 28 June), with the top two earning promotion to Division Two, to be held in early 2015.
“We have a brilliant record against many teams whenever we host an event,” newly-appointed Cricket Cranes’ coach Davis Turinawe said.
Winners at the inaugural Division III event hosted by Darwin in Australia, Uganda won the right to host ahead of holders Nepal, whose late internal bickering quashed their bid.
“About 90 percent of the officials were sure the event was coming home but several members of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) are facing corruption charges which let us down,” Arun Upreti, an editor with cricnepal.com, disclosed to this paper.