Tournament to be played from 23 October in Malaysia
During the eight-day tournament that commences on 23 October, Bermuda, Nepal, Uganda, USA, Singapore and host Malaysia will face off 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.
Defending champion Nepal will be led by veteran skipper Paras Khadka, who said his side is hungry to lift the trophy again: “We will do whatever it takes to defend the title and move to WCL Div. 2. Everyone has been working hard so we want to convert this hard work into performance when it matters.”
Nepal has had a big year of international cricket, finishing third at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2013, competing in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in January 2014, and competing on the world stage at the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, where it beat Hong Kong and Afghanistan.
“It’s been an amazing year and we want to finish on a high by winning the WCL Div. 3 title. We played our first global event and got T20I status, and this has given the team tremendous confidence and belief that we can do well.”
Khadka said his aim is to continue helping his country climb the international ladder. “Every time you go out there to play for your country, every match is important. I would do anything to help the country climb up the cricket ladder. It’s a very important six-month period we have to make our mark at international level.
“We want to get into the ICC Intercontinental Cup. It’s a gradual step-by-step process and it starts from WCL Div. 3. We believe we have the talent to reach there and perform. The stakes are high and we want to do whatever it takes for us to be in that league.”
USA skipper Steve Massiah said that his side is prepared and motivated to perform strongly in Kuala Lumpur. “The USA is a highly motivated team and always strives to finish at the top of the tournament no matter the conditions, location or opponent.”
The USA finished third in the last edition of WCL Div. 3, finishing behind Uganda on Net Run Rate after winning three of its five group matches. Massiah said that pulling on the national uniform is always a source of pride. “My proudest and most special games of cricket have been played wearing the USA uniform. My entire focus and strategy as both a player and captain is to bring USACA to the highest level possible for now and for the future.”
The 35-year-old, who represented the USA at the ICC Champion’s Trophy 2004, continued: “The timing of this tournament suits us well. In addition to each player's individual fitness and training schedule, all of our players have just played a full season of competitive cricket in preparation for this tournament.”
Malaysia skipper Mohammad Noor has seen his side climb up the WCL ladder this year, after finishing second in WCL Div. 5 and then winning WCL Div. 4. Malaysia then recorded a shock victory over Afghanistan in the ACC Premier League 2014, and Noor believes such competitive match experience will benefit his team.
“We are happy to be crowned the champion of WCL Div 4, which was our dream for the whole year. Then, the match against a great team such as Afghanistan – it’s a crucial one, but our intention was the same as always - to win.
“It helps us to believe that we are capable to deliver when we play WCL Division 3. It is a drastic step forward for these lads, we have been working hard. We realise the intensity of the tournament will be higher, but it won’t stop us delivering our best,” he said.
The 26-year-old was looking forward to the challenge of being skipper on home soil. “It’s a good platform for me to show my ability as a cricketer and at the same time help the Malaysia Cricket flag fly high in the eyes of the world. Being captain is always a challenge – you need to understand the tournament conditions and requirements to get the best results out of it, but I have learned a lot through these tournaments.”
The opening day of the tournament will see Nepal take on Uganda at Kinrara, USA lock horns with Bermuda at Bayeumas, and Malaysia face Singapore at Selangor Turf Club.
The tournament schedule is:
23 October – Nepal v Uganda (Kinrara), USA v Bermuda (Bayeumas), Malaysia v Singapore (Selangor Turf Club)
24 October – Uganda v Singapore (Kinrara), Malaysia v USA (Bayeumas), Bermuda v Nepal (Selangor Turf Club)
25 October – Rest/reserve day
26 October – Malaysia v Bermuda (Kinrara), Nepal v Singapore (Bayeumas), USA v Uganda (Selangor Turf Club)
27 October – Nepal v USA (Kinrara), Malaysia v Uganda (Bayeumas), Bermuda v Singapore (Selangor Turf Club)
28 October – Rest/reserve day
29 October – USA v Singapore (Kinrara), Uganda v Bermuda (Bayeumas), Malaysia v Nepal (Selangor Turf Club)
30 October – Final (Kinrara), 3rd v 4th play-off (Bayeumas), 5th v 6th play-off (Selangor Turf Club)
All matches are scheduled to start at 1015 local time
Bermuda - Janeiro Tucker (captain), Onias Bascome, Kamal Bashir, Christian Burgess, Lionel Cann, Jordan Desilva, Allan Douglas II, Terryn Fray, Malachi Jones, Kamau Leverock, Tre Manders, Delray Rawlins, Dion Stovell and Delano Talbot
Malaysia - Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor (captain), Mohammad Shukri Abdul Rahim, Suhan Kumar Alagaratanam, Mohammad Anwar Arudin, Khizar Hayat Durrani, Mohammad Shafiq Mohammad Sharif, Mohammad Shahrulnizam Mohammad Yusof, Hassan Ghulam Muhamad, Suresh Navaratnam, Aminuddin Ramly, Sheikh Nasir Shafiq, Mohammad Suharril Fetri Shuib, Pavandeep Singh and Muhammad Wafiq Irfan Zarbani
Nepal - Paras Khadka (captain), Mahaboob Alam, Binod Bhandari, Amrit Bhattarai, Naresh Budhaayer, Shakti Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Bhuban Karki, Subash Khakurel, Gyanendra Malla, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, Aarif Sheikh and Sharad Vesawkar
Singapore - Saad Khan Janjua (captain), Mohamed Shoib Abdul Razak, Suresh Appusamy, Rezza Gaznavi, Christopher Janik, Amjad Mehboob, Dharmichand Mulewa, Arjun Mutreja, Anish Paraam, Chaminda Ruwan, Vijay Kumar Selladore, Kshitij Shinde, Abhiraj Singh and Chetan Suryawanshi
Uganda - Frank Nsubuga (captain), Hamu Bagenda, Naeem Bardai, Davis Karashani, Arthur Kyobe, Brian Masaba, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Roger Mukasa, Phillemon Mukobe, Danniel Ruyange, Lawrence Sematimba, Jonathan Ssebanja, Henry Ssenyondo and Suleman
USA - Steve Massiah (captain), Danial Ahmed, Fahad Babar, Adil Bhatti, Karen Ganesh, Muhammad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Jermaine Lawson, Sushil Nadkarni, Timil Patel, Srinivasa Santhanam, Khwaja Usman Shuja, Steven Taylor and Aditya Thyagarajan
ICC Regional Referee Dev Govindjee will be the referee for the tournament.
The umpires are:
Johan Cloete – Mentor Umpire (South Africa)
Kathy Cross (New Zealand)
Rockie D’Mello (Kenya)
Sri Ganesh Lakshminarayanan (Singapore)
Wynand Louw (Namibia)
Durga Nath Subedi (Nepal)
Courtney Young (Cayman Islands)