Kampala — The countdown is almost over. It is exactly a week left before the ICC World Cricket League Division Three showpiece bowls off in Uganda.
The six-nation competition will have 18 matches played at three different ovals in Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe.
According to the Local Organising Committtee (LOC), nearly $30,000 (Shs108m) has been spent on doing improvements on the three venues for the May 23-31 competition.
"With the support of Uganda Cricket Association and ICC backing, we have done works worth about Shs100m," LOC Head of Stadia, Hanumant Katkar, told this paper in an interview yesterday.
"The money has mainly been used to repair club houses, buy field equipment and prepare wickets," said Katkar, also a UCA Board Member.
His committee has bought one big lawn mower, three green mowers, two wicket covers from Kenya, three brush cutters, a trio of manual rollers and they plan to buy a big compression machine for the outfield by Friday.
In Lugogo, where the Cricket Cranes will start their quest for the top two positions against 2011 World Cup finalists Canada next Tuesday, Katkar acknowledges his committee has focused on improving drainage.
"We managed to plant grass in spaces on the field where water used to collect after rain," Katkar said. "We did some changes to the wickets during the Easter Series against Kenya and after.
However, he states the recent downpours continue to affect the works already done. "Besides having grass grow and keep green, rain has affected us a lot especially keeping the wickets safe and outfield work like painting side screens."
In Entebbe, a new ceiling was placed in dressing rooms, plumbing and electrical works are on. Permanent side screens were raised as well as ground levelling of the outfield is also being accomplished.
This venue will have two of Uganda's round-robin matches against Singapore and USA on May 24 and May 29.
With Kyambogo's drainage relatively better, Katkar's team concentrated on levelling the outfield ground, grass cutting and improvements on the nets at the University Oval.
Each venue will have 10 stewards and two ground managers during the tournament who, will work hand in hand with security and the accreditation team, on directing traffic (players, fans, officials, scorers and media) during match days.
All venues will be inspected by ICC tournament director Gurjit Singh who arrived in the country on Tuesday.
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The country will in October also host the Zone V Club Championship with Fuba agreeing with City Oilers to take the lead in the organization and fundraising of the tournament.
Three other Ugandan sides wil take part including Betway Power and women's sides UCU Lady Canons and KCCA Leopards.
"We borrowed the format from Egypt at the previous edition where the federation hosted but with Al Ahly at the forefront of the organization," explained Tashobya.