Baby Cricket Cranes start push for World Cup

Thursday September 30 2021
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Dynamic Duo. Captain Murungi (L) and all-rounder Miyagi celebrate a wicket during the recent Kaduna State Tour to Kampala. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

By Allan Darren Kyeyune

Uganda is yearning for a return to the ICC Youth ODI Cricket World Cup. Since competing at the Sri Lanka 2006 edition, the Baby Cricket Cranes have failed to return on seven attempts. 

Uganda will this morning begin that quest for the lone continental slot to West Indies 2022 against Namibia in the ICC Africa Men’s U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Kigali, Rwanda.

 Coach Ivan Thawithemwira is confident of the side captained by Pascal Murungi.

“We tried to cover as much as we could. I think we are good to go,” he said.

 The two nations are familiar opponents but Namibia holds the upper hand, explained by the eight Youth World Cup appearances - the highest ever by an ICC Associate Member.

History tales

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In the recent qualifiers, Namibia has beaten Uganda thrice in the last decade with captains Derrick Bakunzi (2013 & 2015) and Frank Akankwasa (2019) on the losing end. Even Roger Mukasa lost the duel in 2007 in Benoni, South Africa.

But Murungi and company want to alter that script when action begins at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) Oval in Kicukiro.

 “We are planning to break that history and we have been planning it for the last five months,” Thawi’s assistant Robinson Turinawe said.

Namibia’s captain Jack Parker spoke of 2019 winners Nigeria as their biggest threats in the five-team competition and Turinawe is happy that the Cranes are starting as underdogs.

“We are unknown. They have been searching about us but there is little they know about the boys which takes away the pressure,”  he said.

 Following a light training on Tuesday, right-arm off-spinner Joseph Baguma was sidelined with a fever, implying either of right-arm medium fast bowlers Akram Nsubuga or Christopher Kidega could be offered the opportunity. 

The IPRC oval has been remodelled and the team only had a feel of it’s newly laid wicket and outfield yesterday.

PROBABLE XI: Ronald Opio, Ronald Lutaaya, Isaac Ategeka, Ismail Munir, Cyrus Kakuru, P. Murungi (C), Juma Miyagi, Pius Oloka, Akram Nsubuga, Chris Kidega, Matthew Musinguzi. 12th Man: Brian Asaba.

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