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Preview : WCL Division Three Tournament

The eight teams in 2007 Global Division Three are split into two groups. Group A comprises Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Italy and Argentina while Group B comprises Hong Kong, Uganda, Cayman Islands and Tanzania.

Hong Kong will face unknown quantities when it takes on the likes of Uganda, Tanzania and Cayman Islands, having never played against any country in previous ICC Trophy, or similar, tournaments.

Uganda

Hong Kong's first opponents will be the fancied Ugandans. Uganda is a relatively new member of the ICC, attaining Associate status in 1998 (Hong Kong gained its Associate status in 1969).

Recent history shows that Uganda finished a credible 10th place at the 2001 ICC Trophy played in Toronto, Canada - a tournament in which Hong Kong failed to progress past the opening stages. By contrast, Uganda enjoyed an unbeaten run through the round-robin stages of the tournament with victories over Argentina, Malaysia, France, East & Central Africa and Israel before losing narrowly in a play-off match against UAE. Uganda also beat Ireland in a warm-up game for the tournament.

Uganda's more recent efforts have been rather disappointing. They finished last at the 12-team 2005 ICC Trophy tournament played in Ireland, recording a solitary victory over USA and they were also soundly beaten 3-0 in series of one-day matches against Kenya in September 2006.

Despite these poor recent results, Uganda is ranked higher than Hong Kong and they will prove to be a difficult opponent to overcome.

In recognition for its recent efforts, the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) received awards at the 2006 ICC Development Awards for the Best Women's Cricket Initiative and Photo of the Year while Rebecca Alwayo won an award for Volunteer of the Year.

Cayman Islands

Another unknown quantity for Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands earned their place in the WCL Division Three by finishing fourth in the 2006 ICC Americas Championship Division One, during which they competed against Bermuda, USA, Canada and Argentina. During the competition, they beat Argentina and completed a surprise seven-wicket victory over Canada.

In a nation better known as a tax haven for foreign investors, the Cayman Islands Cricket Association received a US$280,000 payout from tournament organizers during the inaugural 2006 Stanford 20/20 tournament in 2006.

The Cayman Islands became an associate member of the ICC in 2002.

Tanzania

Initially playing international cricket as part of a combined East Africa team (along with Kenya and Uganda) and later under the banner of the East & Central Africa team, Tanzania joined as an associate member of the ICC in its own right in 2001.

Tanzania qualified for the WCL Global Division Three after winning Division Two of the African League. Other teams in the competition were Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria.

Tanzania's preparations for the Darwin tournament have included a 20-day tour of India during March 2007. The team played ten matches against local club teams, recording five victories.

What Next?

Following the group stages of the WCL Division Three competition, the two top teams from each group will face each other in semi-final match-ups to determine the finalists. The finalists will be elevated to the WCL Global Division Two and will play in a tournament in Namibia from 23 November to 3 December 2007. Denmark, Namibia, Oman and UAE have already qualified for Division Two.

The losing semi-finalists will contest a 3rd/4th play-off and will remain in Division Three, with the next tournament slated for 2009.

The two bottom placed teams from each group will play matches to determine their final rankings. Irrespective of this, the four teams will be relegated to the WCL Global Division Four, with a tournament schedule for 2008 (dates and venue to be advised).

Related Links

  • ICC WCL Division 3 Coverage

  • The World Cricket League Explained