Three national teams from Canada, Oman and Singapore have arrived ahead of the 2017 International Cricket Board (ICC) World Cricket League Division 3.
The Canada and Oman teams jetted in on Saturday, while Singapore arrived on Sunday. Six nations will take part in the Championship which runs May 23-30. The best two teams will qualify for slots in Division 2 and also make it to the next round of the 2019 World Cup qualifiers.
The qualifier for the World Cup will be contested after the conclusion of Division II and will determine which two teams will go to England and Wales in 2019.
“We are on track with our preparations and determined to pull off a successful event. Our volunteers are working to ensure the tournament is an overwhelming success,” Tournament Director Justine Ligyalingi, who is the UCA CEO, chipped in about the progress of the preparations.
“We are happy to be here and we shall definitely play every game like a final,” Canada’s Nitish Kumar told URN at Africana Hotel .
Canada who have been warming up with games in Zimbabwe have two Caribbean Premier League T20 players in its ranks in Hamza Tariq and Nikhil Dutta. Oman have also impressed throughout the qualification process starting in Division 5 and spectacularly climbing the ladder.
During that time Oman has also performed well in the ICC World Twenty20 qualification process and remarkably remain in contention to qualify for both ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and ICC World Twenty20
The six teams will have practice on Monday before the opening games on May 23rd with Uganda facing Canada at the Lugogo Oval, while Malaysia take on Singapore at the Kyambogo Oval and USA battle Oman at the Entebbe Oval.
A video clip of Saudi Arabia’s top cleric saying that the game of chess is “forbidden” in Islam because it wastes time and leads to rivalry and enmity among people has provoked heated debate, and widespread criticism, among Arabic Twitter users.
The clip was shared on YouTube in December, gaining traction in recent days on social media. Some Twitter users mocked Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdelaziz Al Sheikh, saying chess is an intelligent game and that is why conservative clerics decry it. Others defended his religious advice, saying that many other Islamic scholars have also warned that the game can be addictive and cause people to lose focus from their daily prayers and remembrance of God.
Saudi Arabia’s influential religious establishment adheres to a strict Sunni Islamic ideology known widely as Wahhabism.
Similarly, Shiite Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani previously declared that chess is religiously prohibited because it could be used for gambling, which is not permissible in Islam.
In the 44-second clip, Al Sheikh says “the game of chess is forbidden,” backing up his statement by referring to a verse in the Quran that bans gambling, intoxicants and idolatry. Answering a question posed to him by a viewer on the Saudi religious Almajd network, the mufti says chess “wastes time and money and causes rivalry and enmity” because it makes rich people poor and poor people rich.
Despite some top religious scholars frowning upon chess, the Saudi sheikh’s opinion is not seen as a formal edict that could lead to a ban on the game in the kingdom. Games such as backgammon and cards are popular among men in the Middle East.
Muslims, who introduced chess to Europe, have been playing the game since the 7th century in Persia.