Gone are the days when Ugandan teams were confined to friendly and build-up series against only its neighbouring nations. The most any Ugandan side hoped for was a build-up trip no further than South Africa.
But such trips seemed be short on exposure and yet they left big dents in Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)’s pockets.
The modern game demands more in terms of preparation because all the recent International Cricket Council (ICC)-sanctioned events are cut throat – one slip takes you five steps backwards and the financial assistance from ICC is chopped three-fold.
But with Uganda chasing possible One Day International (ODI) status by 2023, chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira is working overtime to ensure the dream becomes a reality. Alongside his international relations arm comprising of Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martin Ondeko, Ansasiira has gone out of his of way to ensure Uganda’s players get enough game time under their belts ahead of coveted assignments.
For the third year running, Uganda made a trip to India where they played against reputable opposition including Mumbai Premier League sides. The Cricket Cranes select side also made a trip to the Middle East for a Bilateral Series with Qatar.
“Cricket is like a religion in India. Whereas Qatar is ranked ahead of us. We have taken another step to learn from the best. This will only improve our boys skills-set because the exposure they’re garnering is invaluable,” said Ansasiira on his return for a one-week working tour with Qatar Cricket Association (QCA)’s board.
“I am full of faith that these tours are what we need to get to the next level. The big man of QCA Yousef Jeham Al Kuwari wants our cricketing relationship to blossom. He wants our boys to learn from his and our girls to help their ladies team become a better unit in terms of competition.”
Details from the meeting indicated that the Cricket Cranes will travel to Doha alongside the Lady Cricket Cranes for a Triangular Series with Qatar and Kuwait next year.
Uganda narrowly lost last month’s series in the oil-rich nation 3-2 but with debutants Saud Islam (157 runs), Frank Akankwasa (154 runs & 1 catch), all-rounder Deus Muhumuza (134 runs, 9 wickets & 3 catches) and Charles Waiswa (5 wickets & 3 catches) standing out as the top performers.
Qatar and Kuwait are currently ranked 21st and 27th in the ICC T20I status and with Uganda placed at 36th, the latter is certainly bound to benefit.
SUMMARY OF PARTNERSHIP
*UCA & QCA to maintain Bilateral Series
*Lady Cricket Cranes to tour Qatar
*Underage national sides to be included
*Coaches & Technical support to be extended
*Equipment and kit assistance talked about.