Beyond The Test World September 14, 2005

Supporting the associates

Tony Munro
CricInfo's look at our game's new frontiers

Welcome to the latest installment of 'Beyond the Test World', CricInfo's look at our game's new frontiers. In this edition, we dispel the myths circulated by some media regarding potential visits to the six Associate World Cup qualifiers by Test nations; Ronnie Kintu reports on Why Ugandan cricket is tornado struck but unscathed while Joseph Williams previews the new Chilean season from Santiago



The ICC's Matthew Kennedy: full-member countries encouraged to help © Getty Images
Media reports the ICC is considering a structured touring programme by Full Members to the six Associates competing in the 2007 World Cup are incorrect, according to two prominent officials at the development level.

Matthew Kennedy, the ICC's global development manager, said that next month's executive committee meeting of the ICC was likely to discuss an idea where Full Member countries would be encouraged to fit in visits to the six Associates when visiting a neighboring Test-playing nation in the 18 months leading up to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and beyond. He added that the possibility of more Full Member support visits to Associates within their relevant region was also being explored.

"There's no formal proposal structure or set number of matches versus each team - we are just saying to the Full Members if you are going to a Full Member nation, would you consider scheduling a visit to one of the top Associates to assist in their progression. For instance if your schedule according to the ICC's six-year cycle means you are meant to be going to say, the West Indies, would you consider fitting in a visit to Canada." Kennedy added the concept could only be formalised once the six-year cycle was confirmed and the Full Members knew their future itineraries.

Irish Cricket Union President, John Wright, implied having a coordinated approach supported by the ICC would make it easier for the Associates in negotiations with the Full Members. "We can go to a country now for example, and say, well, 'you'll be in England in 2006 - would you consider coming to Ireland for a week', rather than approaching them not long before the tour and they come for three days."

Meanwhile, the World Cricket League Division One tournament, of which matches between Associates will be designated one-day international status for the first time, is likely to be held "very early 2007", Kennedy advised. He said the venue was expected to be confirmed at a Development Committee meeting in November.

Wright also added he was keen to stress negotiations between the Irish Cricket Union and the England & Wales Cricket Board over a potential English visit to Ireland next year were continuing.

Uganda
Ronnie Kintu is a sports journalist with Uganda's leading daily newspaper, the 'New Vision'. Here Ronnie reviews the first half of the Ugandan season

Defending champions Tornado CC have successfully ended the first round of the Castle Lager national league unbeaten after thumping their sister side Tornado B in their last game. Tornado are currently on top of the table above contenders Africa CC, Wanderers and Castle Development XI respectively.

The second round began last weekend with Tornado taking on former champions Wanderers CC as Africa CC locked horns with Nile CC. Eight clubs are taking part in the league that will have the top four clubs play the champions trophy in October when it ends.

Meanwhile, after successfully leading Uganda through the 2006 World Cup qualifiers held in South Africa, the national U-19 team players extended their antics to the on-going Coca-Cola secondary schools championship that started August 26.

Uganda beat Fiji, Tanzania, Namibia and Kenya to storm the 2006 World Cup that will be held in Sri Lanka next February.

Patrick Ochan, Jimmy Okello and Jonathan Ssebanjja are outstanding for tournament favourites Kololo SSS while Charles Waiswa, Daniel Ruyange and Arthur Kyobe are shining for Makerere College School.

Around 12 schools are taking part in the one-week tournament that has Busoga College Mwiri as defending champions.

Chilean season preview



Ground of the week: Prince of Wales Country Club ground in Santiago © Tony Munro
The 2005-2006 season officially gets underway on Sunday October 2 with the traditional Grange School v President's XI encounter and from thereon in it will be non-stop action for both senior and junior players alike.

Santiago Cricket Club will be hoping to set a precedent by becoming the first side to successfully defend their Metropolitan Cup title. However, with a host of new players and a crop of talented youngsters arriving on the scene, it is expected to be as nail-biting a competition as always. The national Second Division will be contested by all-Chilean teams from Santiago and Viña del Mar and is an excellent opportunity for the Chilean Cricket Association to display some of its home-grown talent.

Chile are also set to take part in their first ICC-regulated tournament where they will face the likes of Brazil, Panama and Suriname in the newly-fashioned World Cup Qualifying Series (Division Three). Deemed nationals Paul Hollis and Simon Shalders will both be hoping to hit top form with the bat and send Chile through to the next phase of the tournament.

Chile's youth sides are also preparing for international competition as U-15 captain Cristián Eyzaguirre leads his side against the Falkland Islands and the U-13s take on Argentina for the Andes Cup over Easter.

The schools cricket program in Chile is booming, with over 2,000 children having been introduced to the game over the last 18 months, and this season promises to be as hectic as always with regular festivals, competitions and tours. St. Alban's College (Buenos Aires) will become the first foreign school to tour Chile when they bring over a youth side in October.

Cricket in Chile is played to the majestic backdrop of the Andes mountain range, on some of the most picturesque grounds in the world. If you are interested in touring Chile or Latin America then please contact the ACC by emailing cricketchile@hotmail.com.

China Beijing was the birthplace of cricket's revival late in the 20th century, so its likely entry into the 2005 Shanghai Sixes this weekend is welcome news.

Ray Brooks, a Beijing resident, reports the capital's team is likely to mainly feature players form the Australia-New Zealand Association which stages an annual outdoor ANZAC match, while more recruits are expected from a group which plays weekly matches on Saturday mornings in a car park.