Uganda will be battling for promotion to Division 2 with five other teams that will be in Kampala for the Division 3 World Cricket League.

Oman will arrive first on Thursday making a short trip from their Kenyan base while all the other teams (Canada, USA, Singapore and Malaysia) will arrive on Sunday evening.

Action gets underway on Tuesday at the three ovals; Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe.

Uganda will want to get off to a good start against Canada at Lugogo but how much do you know about Canada and the rest of the countries?

OMAN

Team Oman during a tournament.

Most cricket in Oman is played by expatriate Indians and Pakistanis (and their descendants), rather than by native Omanis – in 2010, only 100 of the 780 players in the National League were Arabs, or around 13 percent.

The composition of the Omani national side has generally reflected this, although several Arabs have appeared for the team.

Quotas of Arab players have been introduced for both club teams and the national side, in order to boost Cricket’s popularity amongst the Arab population.

In July 2015, with their win against Namibia in the 2015 ICC T20 WC Qualifier, Oman gained T20 International status and qualified for 2016 T20 World Cup.

Oman comes into the tournament with a lot of hype having played in the main draw of the T20 World Cup. However, they haven’t enjoyed too much success in the One Day game because of lack of concentration.

Oman has some of the best spinners in Associate Cricket and game 3 in Kyambogo will be very good for fans to watch.

Oman has been playing warm up games in Kenya as they try and get used with local conditions. They have had Indian Legend Mohammed Azzaruddin mentor the team while they were at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

A big contingent from Oman is following the gulf team therefore they will not be short of fans as they play in Kampala.

SINGAPORE

Team Singapore

Singapore is currently ranked 27th in the ICC Global Ranking (17th outside of the test playing countries).

Singapore Cricket Association successfully hosted the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in Singapore in February 2012 and earned promotion to Division 4 by virtue of being crowned champions of the Division 5 tournament.

Singapore narrowly missed promotion to Division 3 in the later part of the year finishing third in the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 in Malaysia.

However, Singapore improved its world ranking by 5 places this year moving on to 27th place from 32nd place last year in the ICC world rankings.

Singapore cant get over the memory of a one-run loss to Uganda in Malaysia 2014 after the Cricket Cranes managed to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat when they out foxed Singapore with spin in Kuala Lumpar.

Singapore was meant to visit Uganda on a familiarization tour but political issues on their board couldn’t allow them. Like Oman, Singapore is also camped in Kenya as they play some warm up games against Kenyan select sides and are very tricky customers.

Uganda plays Singapore in Game 2 in Entebbe a ground that should favour the home side.

CANADA

Team Canada at a recent tournament

2000 saw Canada host the first ICC Americas Championship, a tournament which they won. The following year they embarked on a tour to Sri Lanka, but the highlight of 2001 was their hosting of the ICC Trophy where they finished third in the tournament and qualified them for the 2003 World Cup.

It was this ICC Trophy tournament that first saw the emergence of John Davison, who was to become one of Canada’s most successful players.

Canada played various matches in the buildup to the World Cup, visiting Argentina in April 2002, finishing as runners up to longtime rivals the USA in the Americas Championship, swiftly followed by a fifth-place finish in the ICC 6 Nations Challenge in Namibia.

The West Indian A team toured Canada later in the year, and Canada won the one-day series 2–1, and drew a two-day game. This was followed by Canada’s best performance to date in West Indian domestic one-day cricket, winning two games in their first round group, just missing out on qualification for the semifinals.

The World Cup itself was a tournament of contrasting fortunes for the Canadians. They started with their first ODI win, over Bangladesh. Two games later saw them dismissed for 36 against Sri Lanka, then the lowest score in One Day International history. The next game against the West Indies saw John Davidson score the fastest ever World Cup century, although Canada lost that game, and did not progress past the first round.

Canada may be every Ugandan fan’s second team. Our very own Henry Osinde is the coach of the team having been appointed recently.

Osinde and Kenneth Kamyuka have both played for Canada in recent times having also featured for Uganda before. They are currently preparing in Zimbabwe and team Uganda feels that they are the only big threat to their crown.

Uganda and Canada clash in the first game of the tournament at Lugogo.

USA

The USA cricket team at the Div 3 in UAE

USA finished second in the 2010 Division Five after losing the final against Nepal and won promotion to 2010 Division Four. They continued their climb in more emphatic style by finishing first in 2010 Division Four, demolishing Italy in the final. They were promoted to 2011 Division Three where they took last place and were relegated to 2012 Division Four. There, they finished in second place, and were promoted back to 2013 Division Three. They remained in Division Three after finishing in third place, but were relegated after finishing fifth in 2014 Division Three. Next up for them was the 2016 Division Four which they won.

On June 26th, 2015, the ICC again suspended USACA, this time because an ICC review “had expressed significant concerns about the governance, finance, reputation and cricketing activities of USACA”. This suspension does not impact the National Team playing Matches, but instead cuts off ICC funding and stops USACA from being able to approve any events held in the USA (although the ICC can still approve events held in the United States). This suspension will be upheld until USACA can show the ICC that “conditions relating to governance, finance and its cricket activities” have improved.

However, despite their board room issues USA come here in high spirits having won the Div 4 tournament beating Oman in the final.

With the experienced Pubudu Dassanayake as coach and Steven Taylor as captain USA is the team to watch out for in the tournament. Pubudu has had success with Nepal and Canada taking both the pinnacle of World Cricket.

Team USA is camped in South Africa trying to get used to African conditions. They are due to arrive in Kampala on Sunday.

Game 5 maybe a break or make for both teams at the lakeside oval as they seek to finish strong. USA has some decent quick bowlers who might get some help from the wicket in Entebbe. However, the toll of the previous days might have taken a toll on both teams therefore this is a must watch.

MALAYSIA

Team Malaysia

In 2000, Malaysia reached the semifinal of the ACC Trophy before losing to hosts the UAE. They failed to progress beyond the first round of the 2001 ICC Trophy and lost to Nepal in the semifinals of the 2002 ACC Trophy.

Malaysia played their first first-class matches in 2004 as part of that year’s ICC Intercontinental Cup. They lost to both Nepal and the UAE and failed to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.

Malaysia hosted the ACC Trophy in 2004, which was the first stage of qualification for the 2005 ICC Trophy and the 2007 World Cup, finishing joint seventh with Bhutan. They finished last in the ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament in 2004, thus failing to qualify for the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup. They played in the tournament again in 2005, this time finishing third.

In 2006, Malaysia competed in the ACC Premier League, finishing fourth. They again hosted the ACC Trophy that year, again finishing seventh after beating Qatar in a playoff.

Malaysia have played in the ACC Twenty20 Cup thrice. They did not win a match in 2007 but finished seventh in 2009 after winning 3 Group B matches and a positional playoff against Saudi Arabia.

In the last Division 3 Qualifiers in 2014, Malaysia was the only country that managed to defeat Uganda under the watchful eye of Ahmed Faiz and captained by Bilal Asad Malaysia will be no pushovers for Uganda.

Malaysia is also playing warm up games against select sides in Kenya as they get used to East African conditions.

The only other game Uganda is playing at Lugogo should be comfortable for the hosts but Asian teams are gifted cricketers and Uganda will not have it easy.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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