Pepsi ICC (WCL) Division 3
Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 gets underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday, and rival captains Frank Nsubuga of Uganda, Janeiro Tucker of Bermuda and Saad Janjua have spoken of their teams’ ambitions to lift the tournament trophy.

The eight-day tournament will see the three sides, joined by Nepal, Malaysia and the USA, face off in a round robin format for the chance to finish in the top two and progress to WCL Div.2, which will be played in Namibia from 17 January 2015.

Uganda finished second in the last edition of WCL Div.3 after winning four of its five group matches to reach the final. Captain Nsubuga said that his side was looking to go all the way this year and gain promotion to WCL Div.2.

“This tournament is a massive opportunity that we want to grasp with both hands. The possibility of competing against the top Associate teams is motivation enough to get the boys going.

“We were obviously disappointed not to win the tournament last time round after a consistent run of wins so we will be looking to do one better,” said Nsubuga.

The 34-year-old all-rounder, who scored 105 runs and claimed seven wickets during the last edition of the tournament, believed that his team is in good form leading into this year’s event: “We have just had a very good build-up tour in South Africa, participating in the ACA Cup. We had tough games that are very good preparation leading into the tournament. This is an opportunity to go a step up and we are definitely looking forward to it.”

Reflecting on his own role, Nsubuga said: “This tournament is massive for me both as a player and as captain. I’ll be looking to make a mark in both fields to try and get Uganda into WCL Div.2, where I believe it belongs.”

Bermuda finished fourth in the last edition of WCL Div.3, and skipper Tucker says the nail-biting end to the tournament, which saw his team win its last group match but finish behind Uganda and USA on net run-rate (NRR), is motivation for his team in Malaysia.

“To come so close to qualifying and then lose out on NRR gives us the belief that we can get over that last hurdle with that extra effort from all 14 players.

“The only objective is to qualify for WCL Div.2 so we can try to set Bermuda cricket back where it belongs.  The team has been preparing the best way we can, training three times per week and trying to improve that extra little bit to get us to Division 2.”

Tucker, who represented Bermuda at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, reflected on his role in WCL Div. 3: “This might be my last game as captain so I really want to go out on top and hopefully be able to take my country to WCL Div.2 and leave us in a good position.”

Singapore gained promotion to WCL Div.3 after finishing second in Div.4 earlier this year on home soil, and skipper Janjua was delighted with his side’s recent performances.

“Our hard work has paid off. We planned and practiced hard as we had two tournaments in a month, WCL Div.4 and the ACC Elite League. Winning definitely helps the team morale. We are more determined now.”

The all-rounder said his dream is to win promotion to WCL Div.2.  “This is very important for the profile of cricket in Singapore. We will give our best and play hard and qualify for WCL Div.2. It is our dream to progress and play in the WCL Championship and the ICC Intercontinental Cup.”

Janjua believed Singapore’s new coach will give the team the edge it needs to outplay the other teams. “Mansoor Rana is working hard with the team. His guidance and experience is helping us a lot in the preparations for big tournaments. He is tactically very good, and is a big boost to the team,” he said.
Tournament schedule:

23 Oct – Nepal v Uganda (Kinrara), USA v Bermuda (Bayeumas), Malaysia v Singapore (Selangor Turf Club)
24 Oct – Uganda v Singapore (Kinrara), Malaysia v USA (Bayeumas), Bermuda v Nepal (Selangor Turf Club)
25 Oct – Rest/reserve day
26 Oct – Malaysia v Bermuda (Kinrara), Nepal v Singapore (Bayeumas), USA v Uganda (Selangor Turf Club)
27 Oct – Nepal v USA (Kinrara), Malaysia v Uganda (Bayeumas), Bermuda v Singapore (Selangor Turf Club)
28 Oct – Rest/reserve day
29 Oct – USA v Singapore (Kinrara), Uganda v Bermuda (Bayeumas), Malaysia v Nepal (Selangor Turf Club)
30 Oct – Final (Kinrara), 3rd v 4th play-off (Bayeumas), 5th v 6th play-off (Selangor Turf Club)