There is no shortcut to success - so goes the old English adage. Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) have taken to it like fish to water in their insatiable efforts to scale the heights and progress to the next level in what is both a crucial and action-packed international calendar.
There is lots at stake; glory at the T20 Africa Cup in Nairobi (March 20-27), progressing to the Africa Finals at the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup African Qualifier (April 25 - May 4) and a chance to inch closer to One Day International (ODI) status and the 2023 ICC World Cup in India if Uganda can hold their own at the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B in Kampala later this year in July and August.
Such is the glimpse in what the year has to offer for the men’s senior national teal - The Cricket Cranes - on the international scene, UCA have wisely opted to go for early and intense preparations.
And as Uganda wrapped up the Qatar Tour with two wins; one apiece in the 50-over format and T20 code, the team bid farewell to five senior players; debutant Saud Islam, classy veteran Frank Nsubuga, all-rounder Deus Muhumuza, wicket-keeper Fred Achelam and left-arm orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo and welcomed six new exciting talents in Cyrus Kakuru, Steven Wabwose, Calvin Watuwa, Rogers Olipa, Gerald Mubiru and Jonathan Kizza for the two-legged India Tour.
The 23-man Ugandan contingent flew out of Hamad International Airport (Doha) and Bole International Airport (Ethiopia) respectively and linked up in Mumbai for the first leg that bowls off today in Saphale.
Doha was unusually cold and some games were played below 15 degrees Celsius but on-landing in India, the temperature were searing and hit 38 degrees Celsius at on one point. The Ugandan team management has already voiced out its opinion that excuses will not be entertained from the youthful brigade.
“International cricketers go through this change of weather, time zones and surroundings very often. We cannot always be in comfort zones and then you believe we will learn anything. This Tour of India is going to test or mental strength to the limits,” said Team Manager Jackson Kavuma.
And will hardly a full day’s rest under their belts, coach Davis Turinawe will pick his finest XI to run into the Hitesh Solanki-mentored Thane Eagle Strikers at the newly beautifully built ICWC Cricket Academy Ground in Saphale.
The Ugandan players must prove their status against the hungry Ranji Trophy players in a 40-over game facilitated by Omtex, and will be umpired by Uganda’s lady umpire Sharon Athoula.
Qatar Bilateral Series
Qatar Bilateral Series
Game Four - 50 overs
Uganda 282/7 Qatar
Uganda won by 138 runs
Game Five - T20I
Uganda 134/4 Qatar 116/10
Uganda won by 18 runs
Today in India - 40 overs
Uganda vs. Thane Eagle
@ ICWC Cricket Academy, Saphale