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Cricket Cranes relish World Challenge, unveils new kit

by Nnalubaale Sports
2 minutes read

The Cricket Cranes, Uganda men’s national cricket team are buoyed ahead of the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B tournament that bowls off this Friday at Lugogo Cricket Oval.

Uganda start its campaign against Jersey on Friday and wraps it up against Kenya on June 26 2022 in a tournament-cum-pathway to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

The mission is for Uganda to secure the much-vaunted One-Day International (ODI) status and all the Cranes need to do is to stay at the helm of the standings.

Playing at home comes with pressure but head coach Laurence Mahatlane has welcomed it and hopes the Cricket Cranes can turn Lugogo and the University Oval in Kyambogo into fortresses as he feels the team has left no stone unturned in preparations.

“We have played nearly 120 games at home since my arrival and I believe we now have a grip of how our home conditions behave,” said the South African tactician who took over the reins in November 2020, replacing Kenyan legend Steve Tikolo.

“We are excited to be playing at home after nine months and are looking forward to the home crowd being our 12th man on the field. It is always a privilege to represent more than 40 million people.”

But with familiar challenges in early birds Bermuda and Jersey, who arrived over the weekend, plus Kenya, Hong Kong and Italy, who are scheduled to set foot into the Pearl of Africa today, Uganda knows what to expect.

“We have prepared well and we will be looking to ensure we execute our game plans one ball at a time. We have in-depth analysis and know what every team will be bringing to the table,” the 45-year-old gaffer noted without giving away too much on the team tactics.

“Our focus is on one game at a time and on our processes. Last year we had equalled the World Record on number of T20I wins and lost our 12th game by one run to Kenya before we picked it up for another five wins in a row. So, I believe we understand tournament cricket,” coach Mahatlane opines.

As the boys check into their residence for the next fortnight The Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, the team’s official paint partner Kansai Plascon has ensured the team is fully coloured with new attire before they engage in battles of supremacy.

“We are glad the team tops the table after the first of the three world cup qualification legs. And this is the reason the team needs us the most,” said Plascon Uganda marketing manager Daniel Kayongo.

The tournament is set to have a lot of fanfare with lots of gifts to win for the fans and players thanks to all the other partners including BATBALL, Guvnor, Roke Telkcom, Nile Special, Coca-Cola, Uganda Airlines, Rose Foam, Century CineMax and Radio City.

When Uganda hosted a similar tournament the ICC World Challenge League Division III in 2017, the Cricket Cranes punched below their weight enroute to relegation to Division IV.

TEAM UGANDA
Emmanuel Hasahya, Simon Ssesazi, Ronak Patel, Brian Masaba (captain) Deus Muhumuza (vice captain), Riazat Ali Shah, Dinesh Nakrani, Fred Achelam, Frank Nsubuga, Juma Miyaji, Cosmas Kyewuta, Henry Ssenyondo, Kenneth Waiswa and Frank Akankwasa
Team Reserves: Arnold Otwani & Bilal Hassun

TABLE STANDINGS
Team M W L N/R Pts
Uganda 5 5 0 0 10
Hong Kong 5 3 1 1 7
Italy 5 2 2 1 5
Jersey 5 2 3 0 4
Kenya 5 1 3 1 3
Bermuda 5 0 4 1 1

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