All Systems Go for WCL Division 2

The tournament director of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2, Edward Fitzgibbons has lauded Namibia for its preparations saying everything was in place for a successful tournament.

Speaking at a function on Monday evening, Fitzgibbons said that Namibia has always received positive reports after hosting ICC (International Cricket Council) matches in the past.

“Namibia has hosted a lot of ICC matches over the years in the World Cricket League Championship and the Intercontinental Cup. I receive match reports from the referees and players and it has always been positive. There have been some small areas that Namibia needed to improve on, but they have done that,” he said.

Fitzgibbon said the wickets looked in good shape and he was confident that Namibia would host a successful tournament.

“(Pitch consultant) Phil Russel from South Africa has worked on the wickets and they look very good. I’m very confident with the quality of people you have here that you will stage a successful tournament,” he said.

Fitzgibbon said he was confident that rain would not disrupt the tournament.

“If there is rain, we effectively have three reserve days and even the finals day can be used to complete matches. I’ve done about 12 tournaments all over the world and have only had two no results so I’m confident that we will have a complete tournament here,” he said.

Six teams will compete in the tournament, namely Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Canada and the Netherlands, with the top two being promoted to WCL Division 1.

Fitzgibbon said it was a very important tournament, with a lot at stake for the competing teams.

“There will be a lot riding on this event as the top two teams will qualify for the Intercontinental Cup and the WCL Championships which will be a gateway to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.”

He however added that Namibia had a good chance of qualifying.

“I know this event means a lot to Namibia. The last time they hosted this tournament was in 2007 so thats a very long time for a country with such a rich cricketing history… As the hosts, Namibia has a great opportunity to progress. In the past the success rate for the host country to qualify has been between 80 and 90 percent,” he said.

The tournament starts on Saturday with Namibia taking on Kenya at the Wanderers, Uganda up against Nepal at Affies Park and the Netherlands taking on Canada at United. All the matches start at 09h30.

The complete tournament fixtures are as follows:

17 Jan – Namibia v Kenya (Wanderers), Netherlands v Canada (United), Uganda v Nepal (Wanderers Affies)

18 Jan – Namibia v Uganda (Wanderers), Nepal v Netherlands (United), Kenya v Canada (Wanderers Affies)

19 Jan – Restreserve day

20 Jan – Nepal v Canada (Wanderers), Kenya v Uganda (United), Namibia v Netherlands (Wanderers Affies)

21 Jan – Kenya v Netherlands (Wanderers), Namibia v Nepal (United), Canada v Uganda (Wanderers Affies)

22 Jan – Restreserve day

23 Jan – Netherlands v Uganda (Wanderers), Namibia v Canada (United), Nepal v Kenya (Wanderers Affies)

24 Jan – Final (Wanderers), 3rd v 4th play-off (United), 5th v 6th play-off (Wanderers Affies).

Source : The Namibian