Three months since they last had a competitive outing at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Twenty20 Finals in Rwanda, the Cricket Cranes start their 2022 season in full throttle by renewing their rivalry against Namibia in Windhoek.
A contingent of 21 including 15 players and six officials have been flagged off on Monday, 4th 2022 for this engagement.
The last meeting between the two sides came in April 2021 as Uganda Cricket Cranes were given a proper cricketing lesson.
Namibia ran out overwhelming winners of the Series winning all the games by 2/50 over games and 3 T20s.
The tour was a good omen for both countries as Namibia went on to demolish every opponent put before them, becoming the success story at the ICC T20 World Cup where they signed off by automatically qualifying for this year’s edition in Australia.
For Laurence Mahatlane’s Cricket Cranes, they went on to win the ICC Africa Sub-Regional T20 Qualifier A in October and ICC Africa T20 Finals in November in Kigali.
Now both countries renew their rivalries with Namibia fresh from taking on Ireland A (Irish Wolves) and Uganda having enjoyed training since January 10th and played out 16 high-intensity national trial matches.
The morale in the Ugandan camp is also high after the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) unveiled Plascon Uganda as the new team’s paint partner with a Shs240m package.
Namibia have a second round of Cricket World Cup League 2 encounters. Namibia is to play in a 7 nation challenge league with PNG, Oman, UAE, Scotland, USA, Nepal and Scotland.
Whilst, Uganda will use the tour to prepare for the ICC Cricket World Challenge League B they will host in June with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier B in Zimbabwe.
Six players including debutants Juma Miyagi and Emmanuel Hasahya, captain Brian Masaba (injury), Deus Muhumuza (academic obligations), Richard Agamire and Simon Ssesazi were not part of the touring party last year when the Cranes toured Namibia but have rightfully earned their spots in the side.
At the flag off, coach Laurence Mahatlane said, “These are exciting times. This is going to be the highest team we have ever played in terms of ICC rankings. They’re ranked 16th in T20I and are already guaranteed a spot in the World Cup. We have the perfect chance to gauge where we are and it is going to be a good experience for the youngsters to experience some tough cricket. We want to see how far we have come in one year since we last played them.”
Captain Brian Masaba asserted that “Me and a couple of lads were not in Namibia last time. It is going to be a good test character for us. Namibia have made great strides and they’re a quality side. Hopefully guys are not overawed by the opposition. We will compete and take care of our processes.”
UGANDA’S SQUAD TO NAMIBIA
Brian Masaba (Captain), Deus Muhumuza (Vice-Captain), Dinesh Nakrani, Riazat Ali Shah, Kenneth Waiswa, Fred Achelam, Frank Nsubuga, Arnold Otwani, Henry Ssenyondo, Cosmas Kyewuta, Emmanuel Hasahya, Simon Ssesazi, Frank Akankwasa, Richard Agamire, Juma Miyagi.
Laurence Mahatlane (Head Coach), Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach), Shamim Nassali
(Physiotherapist) Alvin Mboijana Bagaya (Analyst), Innocent Ndawula (Media Manager), Jackson Kavuma (Team Manager)