After picking three wins from five games in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B tournament (second round) held in Kampala, the Uganda men’s national cricket team, Cricket Cranes are eager to extend their good form to the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers.
The tournament features eight teams in two groups of four and Uganda is seeded together with Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Netherlands in Group B.
Cricket Cranes, sponsored by Plascon Uganda start their campaign today, Monday 11th July afternoon against Hong Kong at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.
The two sides met last month at the Challenge League B event in Kampala with Hong Kong triumphing, however Cricket Cranes are ready to right their wrongs away from home as they make a quick switch from the 50-over format of the game to T-20.
“The boys are dreaming of going to Australia (for the T20 World Cup) and their dream is valid. Our preparations have been great and we talked about what we need to do during our matches,” Cricket Cranes Head Coach Laurence Mahatlane said ahead of the game.
“Our skill set against Hong Kong will be the same but I believe we shall be on the winning side this time round. I believe we did well (overall) at the Challenge League B though we lost to Hong Kong and Jersey. We picked positives then, reflected on our losses and we worked on our errors,” Mahatlane noted.
Mahatlane adds that the Cricket Cranes who are as well chasing for a global slot at the 50-over format of the game (ICC Cricket World Cup) can create a lasting legacy and take the country to places it has never been before.
After the match against Hong Kong, Cricket will take on Papua New Guinea the next day and will finish the group games against Netherlands on Thursday. The top two sides will advance to the semi-finals with the two teams that meet in the final qualifying for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
Uganda is the second lowest ranked side in the eight nation tournament and there is an opportunity for Uganda to improve its global ranking if they defeat any of teams that are ranked above them.
There are only two changes to the squad that played the Challenge League B tournament in Kampala, Deus Muhumuza misses out due to injury and his place is taken by Roger Mukasa while Emmanuel Hasahya makes way for Bilal Hassun.
Brian Masaba (Captain), 2. Ronak Patel, 3. Simon Ssesazi, 4. Roger Mukasa, 5. Dinesh Nakrani, 6. Riazat Ali Shah, 7. Frank Nsubuga, 8. Frank Akankwasa, 9. Kenneth Waiswa, 10. Cosmas Kyewuta, 11. Juma Miyagi, 12. Henry Ssenyondo, 14. Bilal Hassun.
Laurence Mahatlane (Head Coach), 2. Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach), 3. Shamim Nassali (Physiotherapist), 4. Steven Tusiime (Team Analyst), 5. Denis Musali (Media Manager), 6. Jackson Kavuma (Team Manager).