This time last year, Argentina were expecting to play in Division Five in 2008. But following the suspension of the USACA due to the ongoing problems with the game in the US, they were shosen to replace the USA in Division Three in Darwin earlier this year, and went on a much unexpected run, reaching the final where they lost to Uganda.
However, since then they have played just three matches against a rest of South America XI, and are going into Division Two with the least preparation of the six teams. They were very successful in those matches though, winning all of them and putting up some big scores. They'll be reliant on captain Estaban MacDermott, leading wicket taker in Division Three, and batsman Donnie Forrester (right), who was top of the averages in Darwin.
Of the six teams in the tournament, Denmark are the only one to have not played in a competitive tournament this year. However, they have been keeping themselves busy with matches against the likes of Bermuda, beating them twice, and various Kenyan representative sides. They played the latter on a tour of Kenya recently, on which they were unbeaten and gained some valuable experience of African conditions.
The key player for them is set to be captain and wicket-keeper Frederik Klokker (right), who became the first Dane to score a first-class century earlier this year. The main player with the ball will be former Hampshire seamer Thomas Hansen, who took a Danish record 7 for 13 against Bermuda in August.
The hosts are always going to be amongst the favourites for a tournament, especially when they play as much cricket as Namibia do. Going into the tournament with a win over Canada in the Intercontinental Cup, and several matches in South African domestic competition, they are very well prepared, despite injuries to some fringe players.
The home advantage is obviously going to be Namibia's main advantage, and they have not lost many matches at home in the last two years. Louis Klazinga is their player to watch with the ball, with a List A average of 21.66. Captain Bjorn Kotze comes into the tournament on the back of an unbeaten 163 against Canada, and will be looking to continue his fine form with the bat.
Up until recently Oman were considered the obvious pick for last place in this tournament, but after recently sharing the ACC Twenty20 Cup with Afghanistan in Kuwait, they go into this event in fantastic form, and with a lot of confidence. They beat top regional sides Malaysia and Afghanistan in the first round of that tournament, and lost by just one run to Nepal.
The core of Oman's squad is between 28 and 32 years old, an age often considered the peak of a cricketer's career. Hemin Desai (rigt) and Zeeshan Ahmed batted aggresively in the Twenty20 tournament, but whether they can translate that into form in the longer version of the one-day game is as yet unknown. Nilesh Parmar and Adnan Ilyas batted well in the final, taking quick singles, rotating the strike and hitting out when needed, and that could be what Oman look to in this tournament.
The UAE are coming into this tournament after one of the worst years in their international career. They lost by an innings in Intercontinental Cup matches against Ireland and Canada and could only finish fourth in the ACC Twenty20, their worst performance in an Asian tournament.
Arshad Ali (right) is as usual the player to watch, with his top order hitting and more than useful leg-spin. Captain Saqib Ali will be hoping to provide some runs at the top of the order. They are a well balanced outfit, but their reign as the best Asian non-test team seems to be coming to an end. They still should be a force to be reckoned with though.
Coming off the back of their Division Three win and an upset over Kenya in a Twenty20 match, Uganda will be full of confidence for this match. Whilst two players from Darwin are now missing after being banned for life after going AWOL after that tournament, they still have some good players, though Charles Waiswa is missing despite a fine performance in the Nairobi Twenty20 tournament.
However, the last time they played at this level, Uganda finished last in the 2005 ICC Trophy in Ireland, and whether they can cope with the higher level of play in this tournament is open to question. But with only fourth place needed to reach the 2009 World Cup Qualifier, just two wins could be enough for them, or any of the teams.