Uganda Cricket Cranes captain Davis Arinaitwe Karashani has been accused by journalists of being a political man – evading questions but the silky 30 year-old and his teammates step on the Lugogo turf today ready to prove that their brand of cricket is not for ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3.
Karashani leads Uganda for the next eight days battling it out with six teams to keep their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 dreams alive.
First in the fray is Canada and Karashani is hopeful for an early victory in the competition. “I believe if the playing XI on the day execute their roles and plans, we should get over the line against Canada. Playing at home comes as both bitter and sweet. Sweet as we are familiar with conditions and bitter due to overwhelming national expectations.”
Action starts at 10:00am (EAT) and entrance is free for all.
Karashani’s Canadian opposite, Nitish Kumar also believes the team have a great chance at the tournament. “I think we have a great chance of winning it, we have a really good team which has been training well and had four good warm up games against Zimbabwe A. So it’s just about executing our plans and skills and we should be able to be successful throughout the tournament.”
If Uganda finishes among the top two, it will be given a lucrative ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) funding of $350,000 (Shs876m).
Besides the host and Canada, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore and USA are the other competitiors. Six of the 26 teams who still remain from the 83 Members on the road to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
USA ICC WCL Division 4 winners face ladder-climbing Oman in Entebbe. Steven Taylor, USA captain is looking to build on experience gained in Division 4. “As a team we are just hoping to play good cricket, and take it one game at a time, and I have no doubts that if we do that we will end this event on top of the standings. As for the experience from WCL 4, yes we can build from that, we as a group has definitely improved since the last event.”
Sultan Ahmed, Oman captain, says the team will take confidence from previous matches against its opponents. “Chances of climbing to Division 2 looks promising after the recent successful performances, we have also beaten most of the sides in Division 3. Even though we were defeated in LA (Division 4), we have now studied the team properly and very confident that we can be victorious.”
Malaysia face Singapore in Kyambogo on the first day of competition. This tournament is very important for Malaysia captain, Ahmad Faiz. “ICC WCL Div 3 in Uganda is the most important tournament for Malaysian Cricket. The team are focusing on being crowned champions and being promoted to Division 2. There are 6 matches all together, I hope we all can deliver the best from our side to achieve our main aim to be a champion.”
Chetan Suryawanshi, Captain of Singapore Men’s Team and National Development officer of Singapore Cricket Association believes good preparation will aid the team. “The team have had good preparation from January playing against competitive teams. Our side is balanced and has exciting player. Hopes are pretty much high as we have beaten Oman, USA and Malaysia in World Cricket League competition before, but we have to take one game at a time as all teams are equally competitive.”
Probable Line Up For Uganda: Hamu Kayondo, 2. Arthur Kyobe, 3. Lawrence Ssematimba, 4. Roger Mukasa, 5. Shahzad Kamal, 6. Davis Karashani (C), 7. Brian Masaba (VC), 8. Frank Nsubuga, 9. Charles Waiswa, 10. Jonathan Ssebanja, 11. Henry Ssenyondo, 12. Deus Muhumuza (12th Man)
Canada squad to face Uganda: Nitish Kumar, Bhavindu Adhihetty, Cecil Pervez, Dhanuka Pathirana, Durand Soraine, Hamza Tariq, Amarbir Hansra, Junaid Siddiqui, Mark Montfort, Navneet Dhaliwal, Nikhil Dutta, Rizwan Cheeme, Saad Zafar, Satsimranjit Dhindsa