Lionel Cann, one of the most experienced Bermuda players, has refused to travel to Uganda next month for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament over security concerns following news of a foiled terrorist plot on September 13 in Kampala.
"I have already told the Bermuda Cricket Board that I will not be travelling if the tournament remains in Uganda," Cann was quoted as saying in the Royal Gazette. "It's great to play for my country and I think it's the biggest honour ever, and something I will never turn down. But, in these circumstances, there is no way that I can go to that country."
At least 11 USA players have already said they are likely to pull out of the tour to Uganda, even as the US Embassy in Kampala issued a 24-hour warning for all American citizens in the African country to stay at home or seek shelter in a safe place.
A US Embassy spokesperson said the plot was organised by a terror cell from al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based group behind the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya last year. Nineteen people were arrested by Uganda police over the weekend in Kampala in connection with the terror plot, according to an Associated Press report. A police spokesperson stated that the suspects' intentions "were very, very clear" in what was the planning of an "imminent" attack.
"To see that terrorists have been arrested in the same city where we are going to be playing, obviously that is a major concern to me," Cann said. "Being a family guy and having children, I will definitely not be travelling to that part of the world to play."
In a letter to all competing teams in the tournament, Tim Anderson, the ICC global development manager, said that the governing body was in touch with authorities in Uganda. "I wish to advise you that ICC's security advisers are continuing to co-ordinate with various authorities on the ground in Kampala to understand the extent of this incident, and to ascertain the impact it may have on staging the event in Uganda."