By David Muwonge
Uganda will be hoping to replicate its 2007 form in Darwin, Australia that witnessed the East African nation clinch the ICC World Cricket League Division III, following brilliant all-round performances from Frank Nsubuga and Patrick Ochan against Argentina.
Frank Nsubuga knocked 38 runs off 55-balls and Ochan quick blazing 56 off 34-balls. The pair equally impressed with the ball sharing a seven wicket ransack. That contributed to Uganda’s defeat of Argentina by 91 runs, after a batting innings of 241-8 in 50 overs.
Wednesday, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) unveiled a 14-man squadron and four reserves ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division III showpiece scheduled for 23rd to 30th May, 2017, Uganda.
“The 14-man squad will be captained by Davis Arinaitwe Karashani and he will be assisted by Brian Masaba in a vice-captain’s role,” Benjamin Musoke, former Uganda Cricket Cranes star, now chairperson selectors UCA, assured members of the fourth estate.
A number of criteria were considered in the selection process from training session attendance to discipline, which in effect has influenced downsize of the squad from 20 to 14 since the month of January.
“These are the guys who have convinced us at the moment. And even those on reserve are not completely out of the picture. They can bounce back into the squad,” said Musoke.
According to Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo the selection process was both strenuous and emotional – having to drop players that have worked tirelessly day in day out.
“But at the end of the day, you have to look at the combinations going into such a tournament of this magnitude. And I can say I am happy with the selected squad. The reserves will continue working out with us because they could be summoned to step in for those injured,” Tikolo emphasized.
Team Uganda will have to battle five other nations Canada, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore and United States of America for the coveted trophy, but majorly target a top two finish to guarantee promotion to Division II of the World Cricket League.
“We are very certain that come this tournament we shall perform very well. In regard to the mood, the mood is very high,” a confident Uganda Cricket Cranes, Deus Muhumuza said. He added, “Our major target as Uganda is to make sure we are in the top two.”
With only 26 days to the global pride and joy, Uganda Cricket Association CEO Justine Ligyalingi, who doubles as Tournament Director is quite optimistic all preparations thus far are destined for a successful contest, “Our volunteers are working to ensure the tournament is an overwhelming success.”
According to tournament Publicist Innocent Ndawula, the World Cricket League Division III trophy was flown into Uganda April 18th from the USA and will soon be unveiled for press viewing.
Uganda Cranes Squad: Davis Arinaitwe Karashani (Captain), Brian Masaba (Vice-captain), Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Bagenda Kayondo, Roger Mukasa, Arnold Otwani, Ukani Shahzad Kamal, Frank Nsubuga, Henry Ssenyondo, Charles Waiswa, Deus Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja, Irfan Sahibzada and Lawrence Ssematimba. Reserves: Naeem Bardai, Lloyd Paternott, Emmanuel Isaneez and David Wabwire.