KAMPALA. Uganda will be looking to overcome a late spanner that was thrown in their camp before departure when they face hosts Namibia in the opening fixture of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Women’s World Twenty20 (also World Cup) Qualifier at Wanderers Cricket Oval today.
The team was robbed of its coach Franco Otieno after Entebbe Immigration stopped him in his tracks because his passport had only two pages left and hence could not permit his travel as per the laws.
Head of Delegation Mary Makumbi Nanderenga was also told to stay back because her passport could not be issued travel stamps and visas as it expires in less than six months. Otieno’s place was taken up by assistant coach Grace Mutyagaba.
For Mutyagaba, it is going to be a ‘baptism of fire’ which he hopes his players can help cool down by putting on a clinical show against the hosts.
“There is nothing really new for me,” said Mutyagaba.
“I have a good camaraderie with the girls and I have been working with them in training. My presence in camp could be the tonic that inspires them to play well. I am positive I will shake off the jet lag to carry out my duties.”
Team manager Lydia Bakumpe showed her innovation and administration skills despite this being her first stint as a team administrator when she called in celebrated Namibia U-19 Boys coach Rangarirai ‘Norbert’ Manayande to conduct yesterday’s training session to avert a looming crisis as Uganda had no coach in camp.
“Nobert was really good. The girls were cooperative and the session was smooth. We have all settled in well,” said Bakumpe in praise of the coach who helped Namibia upstage South Africa enroute to a quarterfinal spot at the 2016 U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The girls wrapped up the day with a pool session and Mutyagaba’s prayer will be that he has a full strength squad for the unpredictable opener against the hosts that have beefed up their squad with some South Africa-based players and also played a series of matches in the Rainbow Nation.
10am: Namibia vs. Uganda
1.45pm: Tanzania vs. Kenya