Team Uganda’s recent outings on the men’s international cricket front have been forgettable over both the Twenty20 and Limited-Overs’ format (50 overs).
The Cricket Cranes are already out of contention for a place at next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia after they fell behind to Namibia and Kenya during the Africa T20 Cup on home soil in May.
In the 50-Over format, captain Roger Mukasa and his teammates only enjoyed the epic World Cup final between hosts England and New Zealand at the Lord’s in London last Sunday at Lugogo and the confines of their homes.
That is because the Cricket Cranes fell at the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three stage, twice at Kampala in 2017 and in Muscat, Oman last November.
But coach Steve Tikolo’s charges have a long shot at a maiden slot at the ODI (One Day International) World Cup following a new competition format by ICC for Associates (nations below Full ICC ODI members) without the ODI status.
Uganda finished bottom on the six-team table in Oman and with the elimination of the WCL, the Cranes can play their way to the 2023 ODI World Cup in India through the new ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League (WCCL).
The WCCL comprises 12 teams split in two Leagues A and B. Uganda is placed in B alongside Hong Kong, Jersey, Bermuda, Kenya and Italy and the teams will play in a round-robin format over three rounds in the cycle from August 2019 - 2021.
“The target is top our group in the Challenge League,” stated Uganda’s team manager Jackson Kavuma.
Hong Kong, who finished sixth in the WCL Division Two in Namibia three months ago, hosts League B’s first round from November 25 - December 10.
“By us playing in Hong Kong, we have a chance to get ODI status in 2023,” said Kavuma, a man who has handled the team since 2017.
After all rounds, A and B winners qualify for the ICC World Cup Playoff in 2022 to battle for the ticket to India, albeit a long route though.
“We need about 25 quality players to work with over the next three years. The Hong Kong tournament is a bit long already (15 days) and the conditions are not like any other place. Players burn out and you know us here, people hide injuries.”
What else? “We would stand a chance if we host one of the remaining two legs of League B. The team also needs more matches against unfamiliar opposition to get better, that is if Uganda Cricket Association is willing to do this,” added Kavuma.
Tikolo already summoned 25 players to begin training for Hong Kong.
SUMMONED CRICKET CRANES SQUAD
PLAYERS: Roger Mukasa, Arnold Otwani, Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Hamu Kayondo, Ronak Patel, Kamal Shahzad, Riazat Shah, Dinesh Nakrani, Simon Ssesaazi, Frank Nsubuga, Charles Waiswa, Emmanuel Isaneez, Frank Akankwasa, Fred Achelam, Henry Ssenyondo, Jonathan Ssebanja, Arthur Kyobe, Mohamed Aneef, Kenneth Waiswa, Brian Masaba, Rogers Olipa, Bilal Hassun, Richard Agamire, Robinson Obuya, Lloyd Patternott
ICC WORLD CUP CHALLENGE LEAGUE
Duration: August 2019-2021
Cricket Format: List A
Tournament Format: Round-robin
LEAGUE A: Canada, Singapore,
Denmark, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Qatar
LEAGUE B: Hong Kong, Kenya,
Uganda, Jersey, Bermuda, Italy