The Cricket Cranes have been guilty of trying to get to the destination without appreciating and forthwith respecting the journey. Such a stance has been duly rewarded with wooden spoon finishes.
But the senior men’s national team is intent on shedding some skin at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League B showpiece - a pathway to the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India - that bowls off this morning at Oman Cricket’s lush green twin grounds in Al Amerat.
First up for Uganda today is Jersey - the largest of the Channel Islands located between England and France with an estimated population of 172,000 people living on 45 square miles.
Despite being petite in size, Jersey make up for everything they lack in size by always springing up big performances at the grand stage, thanks to their enviable economy. Only recently, they claimed three big scalps including United Arab Emirates at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in October this year.
And in their only two meetings with Uganda at the ICC World Cricket League Division IV, they played out two low-scoring but thrilling matches in Malaysia last year.
Uganda left unscathed, thanks to the rain and a ruthless bowling display that restricted Jersey to 83 in their pursuit of 90 runs as the former scripted a seven-run win to notch the tournament honours.
But Brian Mark Masaba, the new skipper of the Cricket Cranes, taking over from Roger Mukasa Galiwango is well aware of Cricket Cranes’ misgivings and wants the new slate to start in earnest.
“We would like to do somethings a little differently,” said Masaba. “Firstly we want to take it one game at a time and grow into the tournament in a competitive way. We have a well-balanced side and each of the players will be looking to carry out their roles. A strong and winning start will be on our minds when we play Jersey first up.”
Jersey, though, will be itching to dent Uganda’s campaign from the onset and the big names in their squad including Ben Stevens, who has some county cricket experience on his shoulders, must be watched closely right from the onset.
The 50-over competition with List A status will also see Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy and Kenya exchange pleasantries until December 12 in an event that was originally scheduled to be held in Hong Kong but postponed due to instability over there.
Uganda vs. Jersey, 9am
At OC Turf 1, Al Amerat
May 5, 2018 - ICC WCL DIV IV, Kuala Lumpur
Jersey 126/10 in 44.2 overs
Uganda 55/3 in 19.4 overs
May 6, 2018 - ICC WCL DIV IV, Kuala Lumpur
Uganda 90/10 in 37 overs
Jersey 83/10 in 35 overs
Uganda won by 7 runs