By Charles Mutebi
World cricket body ICC has opened the pathway to test cricket for associate members like Uganda.
Unfortunately, Uganda’s poor performance at January’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand means the ICC’s historic resolution will remain of little significance to the UCA for the foreseeable future.
As notable as it is, the move to ease access to test status for associate members was actually one of the less controversial decisions made at an ICC meeting held in Singapore on Saturday.
The meeting was marked by the divisive move to increase the power of India, Australia and England in the running of world cricket.
The ‘Big Three’ were handed permanent seats on a new five-member ICC executive committee, which will make recommendations to the decision-making ICC board, to be chaired by India’s N. Srinivasan from the middle of this year.
The ICC revealed that the “winner of the next ICC Intercontinental Cup will be entitled to take part in a play-off against the bottom-ranked Full Member and, if successful, obtain Test status”.
The programme for the next Intercontinental Cup as well as the rest of the cycle of tournaments for associate member is yet to be drawn up.
The ICC explained that “there will be a review — in partnership with the Associate Members and their representatives — of the appropriate scope of services and tournaments and the suitability of the current scorecard distribution model of the funds”.
It is only after that process that Uganda, who came last in New Zealand, will know in exact detail what their international calendar for the next few years will look like or to put it differently, how long it will take (at least in theory) before they can get a crack at test cricket.
In the meantime, the Uganda Cricket Association have released the schedule for the year’s first competition, the T20 National League, with confirmation of an impressive haul of 17 participants. Defending champions Wanderers open their account against JACC in Jinja next week.