ICC MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dubai, 7 April 2011
Captains look ahead to Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2
Rights-free photo attached of all six captains with Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 trophy
Tournament begins tomorrow in Dubai, play starts 1000 local time
The captains of the six teams taking part in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) spoke today of their excitement of taking part in the week-long event which begins tomorrow in Dubai.
Teams from Uganda, Namibia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bermuda are all in Dubai to compete in second division of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League.
The top four sides at WCL Div. 2, which will be played from 8 to 15 April, will become eligible to receive dedicated ICC High Performance Grants and two of the top four, as determined by the ICC Development Committee, will join the eight-team ICC Intercontinental Cup which will commence later in 2011.
The sides that finish fifth and sixth in WCL Div. 2 will be relegated to Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3.
Host captain, Khurram Khan said, "We are very well prepared for this event. We've been playing matches constantly over the last four weeks against two teams, so we feel ready to go. It was heart breaking to lose on home ground to Namibia in the I-Shield, so we're looking forward to playing to equal record."
"There is a lot of new players on the UAE team, Shaiman Anwaar and a new wicketkeeper, Swapnil Patil, who are all playing incredibly well. Hong Kong have a very good new side, and we've been following the team. Bermuda as well - they practice a lot - they've played more than we have on our home ground at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, so yes it is going to be a very good competition and so we'll just take it one game at a time."
Promoted side Papua New Guinea are equally eager to do well in the tournament says captain Rarua Dikana. "The boys are really good; since we've moved up from Division 3 we've increased our preparation. In addition we've also been to Australia, so I think we are in good shape for this tournament."
"It would mean a lot to our players and our country and to the development of the game should we win or finish in the top four of this event. Funding will help us at a junior level and at senior level to continue our growth. So it will mean so much to us if we do well," said Dikana.
Bermuda's David Hemp was equally keen to do well for the event and feels his side's preparation has been key, "As a squad we've been in the UAE since the 27 March and have been using this extra time to get used to the conditions. We also came out in January for a 10-day tour to experience conditions, and get a feel for the tournament.
"All sides are going to be competitive, the two from Division 3 will be confident following their achievements and those already in Division 2 will be confident as well. Every game's a challenge, we're just going to concentrate on what we're doing and play the best cricket we can," added Hemp.
Victors of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3, Hong Kong are equally keen to do well in this event and continue the momentum they picked up in Hong Kong.
"We know the value of winning this tournament and this tournament is vital for the future of Hong Kong's cricket. The people of Hong Kong and the government are all very expectant and if we won the revelation would be remarkable. And of course if we win it means more funding for Hong Kong cricket," said Najeeb Amar.
"We're most looking forward to playing Namibia, they're a new team for us and Bermuda as well. We're also really looking forward to facing the UAE, Uganda and Papua New Guinea again," he added.
The two African sides of the tournament, Uganda and Namibia are both equally excited about the event and looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in the tournament.
"It's very important for us to do well, we've lost a lot of good guys recently and so it's even more important for us to bring up cricket, carry on the game, do something for them, leave something behind so others can take the game forward. We are looking for that extra funding, and expecting more to develop the game. We're not worried, we shall give our best and apply ourselves and funding ultimately will come," said Mirza Baig the Uganda captain.
Baig admitted his African counterparts were the side's biggest threat, "Namibia, for sure. They are a very good side, very experienced and have lots of good players. They are playing better than good and are probably the best side."
Finally Namibia's Craig Williams feels the side has prepared well for this event and sees the UAE?s captain Khurram as one of the key threats to Namibia's progression.
"We came early, and played two warm-up games against Hong Kong and Bermuda while back home we played in the South African Amateur League with very strong competition so we feel well prepared. I think all the teams are very well-balanced, and I can't really single out anyone. However, in the UAE team - Khurram Khan and Saquib Ali are very good.
"The facilities here in the UAE have been fantastic and we just hope we can use them to the best of our abilities and push our way back up into contention to be in Division 1, it's really important for us to be there," said Williams.
The full squads are as follows:
Bermuda: David Hemp (captain), Curt Stovell, Fiqre Crockwell, Christopher Foggo, Jason Anderson, Irving Romaine, Lionel Cann, Rodney Trott, Deylone Borden, Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly, Damali Bell, James West, Kyle Hodsall
Hong Kong: Najeeb Amar (captain), Nadeem Ahmed, Irfan Ahmed, Waqas Barkat, Adil Mehmood, Khalid Butt, Asif Khan, Courtney Kruger, Roy Lansam, Mark Chapman, Nizakat Mohammed, Moner Muhammed, Mohammed Khan, Maxwell Tucker
Namibia: Craig Williams (captain), Raymond van Schoor, Ewald Steenkamp, Sarel Burger, Gerrie Snyman, Andries Burger, Bjorn Kotze, Tobias Verwey, Kola Burger, Louis Klazinga, Bernhard Scholtz, Louis van der Westhuizen, Christoffel Viljoen, Helao La France
Papua New Guinea: Rarua Dikana (captain), Chris Amini, Assodallah Vala, Kila Pala, Andrew McIntosh, Willie Gavera, Mahuru Dai, Raymond Haoda, Chris Kent, Jack Vare-Kevere, Tony Ura, Vani Morea, Hitolo Areni, Jason Kila
UAE: Khurram Khan (captain), Mohammed Touqir, Naeem Aslam, Saqib Ali, Arshad Ali, Amjad Ali, Shadeep Silva, Amjad Javed, Nasir Aziz, Aqib Malik, Ahmed Raza, Swanpil Patil, Irfan Ahmed Sajjad, Shaiman Anwar
Uganda: Mirza Baig (captain), Benjamin Musoke, Roger Mukasa, Laurence Sematimba, Frank Nsubuga, Hamza Almuzahim, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa, Davis Arinaitwe, Ronald Ssemanda, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Raymond Otim, Henry Senyondo, Daniel Ruyange
The full schedule for WCL Div. 2 is as follows:
8 April - UAE v Namibia (DSC Stadium); PNG v Bermuda (GCA 1); Uganda v Hong Kong (GCA 2)
9 April - Uganda v Namibia (DSC Stadium); Bermuda v Hong Kong (GCA 1); UAE v PNG (GCA 2)
10 April - Rest/Reserve Day
11 April - Bermuda v Uganda (DSC Stadium); UAE v Hong Kong (GCA 1); Namibia v PNG (GCA 2)
12 April - Hong Kong v PNG (DSC Stadium); UAE v Uganda (GCA 1); Namibia v Bermuda (GCA 2)
13 April - Rest/Reserve Day
14 April - UAE v Bermuda (DSC Stadium); Hong Kong v Namibia (GCA 1); PNG v Uganda (GCA 2)
15 April - Final (DSC Stadium); third/fourth play-off (GCA 1); fifth/sixth play-off (GCA 2)
All games begin at 1000 local time
For more information on WCL Div. 2 please visit www.icc-cricket.com
ICC Division 2 Captains - Photo provided by the ICC