- Published in Women Cricket
The sextet for the 2017 ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three is complete after USA and Oman joined the party due in Kampala early next year.
The Americans and Omanis are the final inclusions after the pair took the top two coveted positions at the ICC WCL Division Four tournament, which climaxed at the weekend in Los Angeles.
Oman, led by coach Duleep Mendis, a former Sri Lanka captain, had topped the round-robin group with four wins out of five. They beat Jersey, Bermuda, Denmark and Italy but lost to hosts USA by eight wickets.
Regardless, they topped the pool with eight points, Americans finishing two points behind in second place.
A Pubudu Dassanyanke-tutored USA capitalised on home advantage to beat Oman in the play-off final by 13 runs and win the showpiece at the Severn Field, Leo Magnus Cricket Complex on Saturday. Jersey and Italy were relegated back to the ICC WCL Division Five.
USA and Oman join host nation Uganda, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore for the WCL Division Three showpiece set to be held at Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe Oval at a date yet to be communicated by ICC.
It means all sides except Nepal and Bermuda, which took part in the WCL Division Three edition in Malaysia two years ago, have stagnated here. The new faces are Canada and Bermuda.
The 2011 World Cup finalists Canada have fallen from the WCL Division Two rank while fourth place in USA ensured Bermuda remain the WCL Division Four.
2017 ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE - DIVISION III
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
THE UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS
Nov. 18-27: Takashinga-Kenya Tour Series
Feb – June 2017: ICC WCL Division III
By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
Since he took over as coach, Steve Tikolo, hasn’t had an opportunity to test his players in a highly competitive environment. The Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi gives a perfect chance. Nairobi tourney chance for Tikolo to bond with Cricket Cranes
Davis Karashani, Lawrence Ssematimba, Frank Nsubuga, Jonathan Ssebanja, Roger Mukasa, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa and Steve Tikolo are not new names on the international cricket scene.
Karashani is such a darling of many that even when he went into retirement prompted by a knee injury, many in the cricket circles continuously referred to him as skipper.
The sextet of Ssematimba, Nsubuga, Waiswa, Ssebanja, Mukasa and Kyobe has been in and out of the national set-up, enjoying success and failure in equal measure.
From the days of Tom Tikolo in 2005 to the first stint of his younger sibling Steve as batting coach for the Cricket Cranes in 2011, the Tikolos hold a special place in the hearts of Ugandans; each of them is addressed as coach, irrespective of the dugout they are commanding.
Coach Tikolo and his players have been starved of international action and they feel only victory at the Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi will strengthen their bond.
“It is not about me,” Karashani repetitively told journalists at the team’s flag ceremony for the event involving unknown quantities Qatar, Saudi Arabia and host-nation Kenya, when he was bombarded with questions about his return from retirement at Lugogo yesterday.
“These guys (team) want to make up for the past near-misses and this tournament presents them a chance to show what they can do after two years of no action. They are starved and it is understandable that they are pumped up for this tournament.”
Coach Tikolo was speaking about team cohesion, too, ahead of the return to his motherland. “It is a chance for us to work on team camaraderie and composition,” said the 45-year-old Kenyan legend.
“Such build-up tournaments will help us gel.
We are looking to play a couple of more games against Zimbabwe’s Takashinga as we gear up for the Dicvision III ICC World Cricket League early next year.” Uganda opens its campaign against Saudi Arabia in the One-Day International (ODI) Series at Nairobi Gymkhana Oval tomorrow.
Four-Nation ODI Series
Sept.20: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 21: vs. Qatar
Sept. 23: vs. Kenya
Sept. 24: Final
Four-Nation T20 Series
Sept. 26: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 27: vs. Qatar
Sept. 28: vs. Kenya
There is always a prize for good deed. Beyond the certificates and diadems, the best players selected from last month’s Pepsi Girls’ Schools Cricket Week will represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Peace Women’s tourney this weekend.
A team of 16 departed yesterday for Kigali by road where they will play six round-robin matches against Kenya and Rwanda national sides.
“This is another bigger opportunity for the girls to express themselves,” said Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Justine Ligyalingi during the flag-off at Lugogo yesterday.
Girls’ Cricket Week champions Jinja Secondary School have been rewarded with three slots on the team plus their coach Habibu Mugalula.
“Much as I have my own girls here, this is a chance to closely look and groom more players from other schools,” noted Mugalula, who has nurtured several female players.
None of Mugalula’s students Stephannie Nampiina, Kevin Awino and Ritah Musamali will captain the side. That job is for Mugalula’s former prodidy Racheal Ntono.
Clearly, this is a reward for Ntono, who single handedly lifted St. James SS to their first-ever final with a respectable 45-ball 61* despite losing to Jinja SS by 14 runs on May 10.
“I am delighted with this position,” Ntono said after receiving the flag from National Council of Sports (NCS) assistant general secretary David Katende. “We shall deliver in Rwanda.” The tourney ends June 15.