Updated: Nepal in line to host WCL Division 3
Division 3 of the World Cricket League is set to take place in November this year, rather than early next year as the usual schedule would have had it. It is understood that the ICC have asked Nepal to serve as hosts for the event.
The teams currently in WCL Division 3 are Nepal, Uganda, the USA and Bermuda. They will be joined by the top two from WCL Division 4, which will take place in Singapore in July. The top two teams will be promoted to Division 2, which according to a recent report published at the Cricket Canada AGM will take place early in 2015.
That same report also claimed that the top two teams from WCL Division 2 will take part in the Intercontinental Cup and associated one-day and Twenty20 tournaments, so there will be a lot to play for as far as the top non-ODI status associates are concerned over the next 12 months.
If Nepal do host the tournament, it will be the first ICC tournament since the infamous WCL Division 5 tournament in 2010 where Singapore were robbed of promotion after Nepal fans rioted during the Nepal v USA match on the penultimate day, throwing rocks onto the field of play and sending players, journalists and photographers running for cover.
The reduction in overs caused by the riot caused a certain promotion for Singapore to be prevented, and Nepal were promoted in their place. Despite an appeal from the Singapore Cricket Association, no sanctions were levied against the Nepal team, with just a ban from the ground where it happened hosting internationals until repairs were made to a wall.
Nepal have hosted the last two ACC Twenty20 Cups since, with more crowd disturbances occurring during the 2011 tournament. The 2013 tournament was without incident though, and it is to be hoped that this tournament will again see good behaviour from the crowds.
The large attendances whenever Nepal hosts international matches makes for a unique atmosphere for associate tournaments, and their raucous fans are sure to support this tournament with as much passion as always. Lets just hope that there is no repeat of the disgraceful scenes of 2010.
An ICC spokesperson has indicated that the information regarding the future of the World Cricket League, World Cricket League Championship and Intercontinental Cup is yet to be confirmed, and that Nepal have not been asked to host WCL Division 3.
The story regarding Nepal was confirmed to this writer by two separate sources in Nepal, and I apologise for any confusion arising from this.