Debuts are always pressure moments with many jittery scenarios that leave players with butterflies in their stomachs.
For Uganda’s national cricket team - The Cricket Cranes - the tide will change for once as the players and management try to keep their expectations low at the ongoing Africa Twenty20 Cup in South Africa.
With 12 Cricket South Africa (CSA) elite Affiliate franchises and five African nations in the mix, Uganda are darkhorses in this tournament as they are grouped in what captain Roger Mukasa referred to as the ‘Pool of Death’ that includes defending champions Kwazulu-Natal Inland.
Uganda have their eyes primarily focused on the future as they continue preparations for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III in Oman later in November this year.
And at this expanded T20 showpiece in South Africa, Uganda know they must pull off a heist to breeze past other seasoned campaigners including Kwazulu-Natal Coast, Easterns and Western Province in a tough but exciting Group A.
“You don’t buy this experience and exposure in a supermarket,” joked captain Mukasa after the captains and officials pre-tournament meeting at Protea Hilton Hotel in Maritzburg on Thursday night, while making a reference to the experience in the opposition dugouts and the priceless exposure his team would get.
“Already we have rubbed shoulders with former South African internationals including Paul Adams and Roger Telemacus who are here as tacticians. We will benefit from their rich wealth of knowledge and tactics they will pass onto us.”
Steve Tikolo’s boys had already thrown around their weight with purpose in their opening two fixtures against hosts KZN Coastal and Inland yesterday and will look to win over more converts today.
UGANDA PROBABLE XI
Roger Mukasa (captain), Brian Masaba (vice-captain), Hamu Kayondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Deus Muhumuza, Riazat Shah, Frank Nsubuga, Fred Achelam, Charles Waiswa, Bilal Hassun & Zephaniah Arinaitwe
12th man: Kenneth Waiswa 13th man: Henry Ssenyondo