After winning the inaugural Continent Cup T20 Tournament in Nairobi last month, Cricket Cranes head to Namibia for the Castle Lite Series against the hosts, Namibia from July 4th-13th. The team was flagged off on Monday at Lugogo Sports Complex in Kampala by officials from Uganda Cricket Association, National Council of Sports and the team sponsor, Plascon.
This will be the third visit for the Cricket Cranes as they test themselves against the Eagles of Namibia. Namibia is the highest-ranked associate nation in T20 cricket at 13th in the World and the hosts should give the Cricket Cranes a good test.
The team is in confident mood ahead of the series after recent heroics in Nairobi but Team Captain Brian Masaba says that his side won’t be complacent for Namibia is also a good side.
“For us it’s another step in the process. We are glad we are going to play against Namibia, they’re very a good side and they have done well in the past years. We are looking forward to the challenge and I think will be a good indicator of where we stand as we prepare for the qualifier later in the year,” Masaba said adding that; “the message to the boys is to go out there and try to execute the team plan, be themselves, play to their abilities and at the end of the day enjoy the game.”
On their last visit to Namibia last year the Cricket Cranes lost the T20 series 2-1 and drew the ODI series 1-1 but Masaba says that the side is ready to make amends.
“We are going to Namibia with a fresh sleight. We have some plans we are going to try again and some new things we want to do. It will be one game at a time and we shall try to execute our plans very well,” Masaba added.
Cricket Cranes Coach Lawrence Mahatlane says that the series will give his side an opportunity to test themselves against an ODI team and a team ranked 13th in T20I’s.
“Of the 11 T20 games we have lost out of 54 over the last 3 years 5 of them have been against Namibia and 1 each against Netherlands and PNG … so we need to see how much smarter have we become against experienced opposition. Also this will help us to keep building on the experience of Windhoek conditions on and off the field and this will hopefully benefit us when the qualifiers happen there from the 20th of November,” Mahatlane noted.
Cricket Cranes will be missing Roger Mukasa who has failed to recover from a hamstring injury, Ronald Lutaaya comes in to replace him. Siraje Nsubuga who had an impressive debut in Nairobi makes way for the returning Juma Miyagi. Ronald Lutaaya, Alpesh Ramjani and Robinson Obuya will be making their first visits to Namibia with the Cricket Cranes.
The tour will feature 4 T20i and 2 ODI matches. All the games will have a live stream available.
The tour is part of the process to prepare the Cricket Cranes for the 2024 T20 World Cup Qualifiers in November in Namibia.
The Final 14: Brian Masaba ©, Kenneth Waiswa, Juma Miyagi, Ronald Lutaaya, Simon Ssesazi, Obuya Robinson, Dinesh Nakrani, Alpesh Ramjani, Riazat Ali Shah, Henry Ssenyondo, Cyrus Kakuru, Frank Nsubuga