Skipper Brian Masaba was the biggest casualty as the selectors announced the final 14-man Cricket Cranes team for the Castle Lite Series against Namibia from April 3-9 at Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek.
The team departed for the showpiece on Thursday night.
Masaba failed a late fitness test and must now stay back home to
allow his recurring hamstring injury heal naturally over a month.
Masaba will be missing his first tour since making his debut in 2011. Vice-captain Arnold Otwani takes over as skipper.
“It is disappointing to have worked hard and them miss out on this particular tour. But these things happen and we have to look at the bigger picture which is preparing well for the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B in Jersey this September. Good thing is we have got depth in the squad and I wish Arnold (Otwani) and the boys all the best.” Masaba said in regard to the matter.
Stand-in Captain Otwani admits Masaba will be missed but is ready to stand up to the task.
“It is so unfortunate Brian (Masaba) is not in the team. We are going to miss him because
he is the leader of our pack and we have always trusted him. But it is also an exciting job for me to be the captain of this tour. I am not new in this job. I did this in Qatar for the T20s and Oman for the last two games and we won. I hope I can do well again.” Otwani said.
The recently contracted trio of opening batsmen Simon Ssesazi and Emmanuel Hasahya, alongside wicketkeeper/batsman Fred Achelam didn’t make the cut, too, as well as Uganda A’s left-arm orthodox spinner Gerald Mubiru.
The selectors opted to go with Uganda A captain Frank Akankwasa as the replacement
for Masaba. Two players; top-order batsman Saud Islam and young opening bowler Cosmas Kyewuta are set to make their full senior debuts.
There is also a return to the fold for batsman Hamu Kayondo Bagenda, who returns to the
fold for the first time in three years since the 2018 ICC Division III World Cricket League in Oman, and left-arm seamer Jonathan Ssebanja, who last played during the forgettable 2017 ICC Division III World Cricket League that was hosted by Uganda.
The tour shall comprise of three T20Is and two 50-over matches.
Both countries are preparing for challenging engagements in the next months with the Namibians just seven months away from their T20 World Cup campaign in India, while both countries are preparing for ICC 2022 T20 World Cup qualifying, and are deep into 2023 World Cup pathways events.
Uganda, who have a decisive outing to Jersey this September, are atop of the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B after winning five out five in Oman 2019.
Another dominant show will leave them on the brink of playing ODIs.
Final Squad For Namibia Tour
1. Frank Akankwasa, 2. Trevor Bukenya, 3. Jonathan Ssebanja, 4. Frank Nsubuga 5. Ronak Patel, 6. Kenneth Waiswa, 7. Riazat Ali Shah, 8. Cosmas Kyewuta, 9. Dinesh Nakrani 10.Henry Ssenyondo, 11. Arnold Otwani (captain), 12. Roger Mukasa, 13. Saud Islam 14. Hamu Kayondo
UGANDA’S TOUR TO NAMIBIA ITINERARY
April 2: Arrival in Windhoek
April 3: 1.30pm: T20 International
April 4: Rest Day/Training (1-4pm)
9am: T20 International
1.30pm: T20 International
April 6: Rest Day/Training (1-4pm)
April 7: 9am: 50-over Match
April 8: 9am: 50-over Match
April 9: Departure
NB: *All Games & Trainings Will Be Played At Wanderers Cricket Ground/ Turf Nets