Cricket Cranes interim Head Coach Jackson Ogwang will for the first time lead the national team to a major competition when the side takes part in the T20 World Cup Qualifiers Africa slated for Nov 20th – Nov 30th in Namibia.
Ogwang, 33 who took over from Laurence Mahatlane in September is positive that the side will make the cut to the global showpiece. Cricket Cranes will compete against six other teams for the two slots to the 2024 T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies. Uganda will compete against hosts Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya.
“The dream of playing at the World Cup is motivation enough for the boys, they know what is at stake and our target has always been playing at the highest level and that is something that has always been driving us in our preparations and I think it’s something that has made us work so hard to the level where we are and it’s time to go out there and see that whatever we have been doing we put it in practice and get the wins,” Ogwang said during the team’s flag off session on Thursday at Lugogo Sports Complex in Kampala.
The Cricket Cranes will spend 10 days in Zimbabwe on a training tour, they will play six T20 games against Takashinga Cricket Club who are the champions of the national league in Zimbabwe.
The Cricket Cranes contingent will arrive in Namibia on Nov 20th ahead of their opening fixture against Tanzania on Nov 22nd.
Ogwang adds that it’s a team target to make it to the global event. “We have one dream and that’s to make it to the World Cup and the most important thing is that we all believe in that dream. We have been working on a few combinations in the team and I believe we will do well.”
A change in the qualification pathway last year by the ICC meant that teams now qualify directly to the World Cup from their regions. The top two sides at the end of the round robin format will qualify to the main event of the 20 team tournament in 2024. Namibia and Zimbabwe were both at the 2022 World Cup in Australia and are overwhelming favorites to clinch the two slots.
Uganda is ranked 23rd in the global T20 rankings and will be hoping for some favour in a place they are familiar with. Uganda will also be playing against a test playing nation for the first time when they meet Zimbabwe on Match Day 3.
Meanwhile, Juma Miyagi and Cosmas Kyewuta miss out due to recurring injuries meaning David Wabwire and Jonathan Ssebanja keep their places. Riazat Ali Shah and Dinesh Nakrani make a return to the team after missing the last international outing in Rwanda with Ronald Lutaaya and Pascal Murungi missing out. Brian Masaba will lead the team under the guidance of Interim Head Coach Jackson Ogwang.
Full Squad: 1. Brian Masaba ©, 2. Riazat Ali Shah, 3. Kenneth Waiswa, 4. Ronak Patel, 5. Dinesh Nakrani, 6. Simon Ssesazi, 7. Henry Ssenyondo, 8. Frank Nsubuga, 9. Robinson Obuya, 10, David Wabwire,11. Jonathan Ssebanja, 12. Roger Mukasa, 13. Bilal Hassun, 14. Cyrus Kakuru, 15. Alpesh Ramjani
Team Officials: Jackson Ogwang (Head Coach), Emmanuel Oroma (S&C Coach), Shamim Nassali (Physiotherapist), Tusiime Steven (Team Analyst), Innocent Ndawula (Media Liasion), Charles Waiswa (Team Manager)