Colin MacBeth (Razor, Uganda)
Uganda's chances of getting to the 2015 World Cup cricket finals would have been pretty long odds in the first place; but now the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made a ruling that will keep them out of the frame until at least 2019.
And it is not only Uganda that will suffer from Monday's ruling; Kenya and Namibia too from the African continent - and all other ICC Associates and Affiliates in the world - are hit, while Zimbabwe, by dint of being a Full Member, will have a cozy berth reserved for them.
The 2015 cricket World Cup is to be reduced to 10 teams - the Full Members who play Test cricket - and all the rest have been told to take a running jump. How then can they call this a World Cup when 95 of the 105 ICC members are excluded from taking part?
Kenyan cricket may be in the doldrums or worse, but Ugandan cricket is on the up and up, both in the men's game and the women's and, who knows, could well be fit for a place at the big boys' table in four years' time.
But we shall never know.
Just now the national squad is in Dubai pitting its strength against the likes of Hong Kong and Namibia in the ICC's World Cricket League Division 2 - where Uganda currently occupy 19th slot in the world. And the team are determined to go up a notch or two further and start banging at the Full Members' door, as illustrated by their drive and optimism when they left Lugogo Oval for the Middle East on Sunday.
Yet how badly may that optimism and drive be deflated by what international cricket commentators have this week described as ‘a black day for the sport' and a tragic ‘shambles' of a decision by the ICC.
Our Ugandan players are a tough breed. It's just a pity that, after their exertions in Dubai over the coming days, they will be unable to set their sights on 2015, for 2019 must be just a distant dream.