Neither Kampala nor Kathmandu, it’s Kuala Lumpur

Kathmandu – International Cricket Council (ICC) finally announced that the ICC World Cricket League Division (WCL) 3 will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from October 23-30, 2014.

The relocation came after ICC recent elevation in the ICC’s ongoing safety and security assessment level.

Earlier on June 10, ICC had named Uganda as a host for the WCL Division 3 from 26 October to 2 November. This was set as Uganda’s first ICC WCL event. But players discomfort citing mainly due to Ebola Virus & terrorist attacks raised major issues over the host.

Eleven USA players were set to withdraw from Uganda tour while few Bermudan players also refused to travel there over security concerns following the news of a foiled terrorist plot on September 13 in Kampala. The news received US Embassy’s attention who issued a 24-hour warning for all American citizens in the African country to stay at home or seek shelter in a safe place.

After that, ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake came to Kathmandu on August 29 for the inspection of cricket grounds in the country. With Ebola’s scare in West Africa and USA Cricket Association pouring concerns over security issues in Uganda, Cricnepal understood that this was a preliminary inspection to shift Division 3 to Nepal. But Asian Cricket Council (ACC) denied the fact and stated it as usual visit.

And today, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The safety and security of players and officials is of paramount importance to the ICC, and despite the excellent cooperation received from the Ugandan government and the Uganda Cricket Association, due to recent events beyond the control of the ICC and the Uganda Cricket Association, we were ultimately uncertain if a secure environment could still be provided.

“The Malaysian Cricket Association has offered to host the tournament at short notice, and, based on previous experience, we anticipate a successful event in Kuala Lumpur.”, he further added.

Nepal along with Bermuda, Malaysia, Singapore, Uganda and the USA are taking part in the tournament. Whatever decision ICC has taken, its good for all. Nepal should be quite happy as well as they have had a prolific tours in the past over there.

On 10th September 2012, Nepal triumphed USA by 8 wickets to clinch the title of ICC World Cricket League Division 4 at Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur. Nepal were unbeaten throughout the tournament. Basant Regmi was the highest wicket taker (21) and grabbed the man of the series award. Similarly, Subash Khakurel (208), Anil Mandal (186), Gyanendra Malla (176) were the among the top five run scores in the tournament.

In the group stages, Nepal defeated Singapore by 5 wickets then beat Tanzania by 8 wickets. On September 6, Nepal traunched over the home side Malaysia by 10 wickets. Shakti Gauchan’s record breaking bowling figure (10-8-2-3) came in this match to bundle them for just 69 runs. Nepal defeated USA by 32 runs in the league stage. Lastly, thrashed Denmark by 25 runs (D/L) method.

For now it’s neither Kampala nor Kathmandu but Kuala Lumpur that will host the much coveted WCL Div 3. Malaysia has been a happy hunting place for Nepal with glories in WCL Division 4 and ACC U16 Premier League.

The players are all ready to take up the herculean task and conquer The DIV 3 title one more time. Its easier said than done but with tremendous success in international cricket last year the squad posses much more venom skewing the equations on Nepal’s side.