Cricket Cranes get first class treatment to Guyana

Captain Brian Masaba (R) sat alongside Roger Mukasa. PHOTO/INNOCENT NDAWULA 

What you need to know:

For the Cricket Cranes, Uganda's national cricket team, the journey began in Ontario, Canada.

LONDON. For many athletes, participating in the World Cup is the pinnacle of their careers, a testament to their skill and dedication.

However, the path to qualification, especially for amateur sports, is fraught with challenges and often requires a mix of luck and extraordinary effort.

For the Cricket Cranes, Uganda's national cricket team, the journey began in Ontario, Canada.

They made their debut in an International Cricket Council (ICC) event as an Associate nation during the 2001 ICC Trophy.

This tournament was a qualifier for the 2003 World Cup hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

In Canada, Uganda exceeded expectations by finishing 10th, a significant achievement considering they entered the tournament ranked 23rd.

Since then, the Cricket Cranes have experienced a series of highs and lows in their quest for global recognition.

The journey has been marked by near misses and significant setbacks. However, after 22 years of perseverance, the Cricket Cranes triumphed in 2023.

They defied the odds by defeating favorites Zimbabwe and Kenya to qualify from the Africa Qualifier alongside Namibia.

This victory secured their spot as one of the two continent’s Associate representatives at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.

Players enjoy an inflight meal. 

Bumper schedule

The reward for their qualification has been a comprehensive training and preparation schedule.

The team has trained rigorously in locations from Jinja to India, Sri Lanka, Ghana, and back to Asia, ensuring their preparation is meticulous.

The ultimate challenge now is a grueling 48-hour journey involving four flights from Entebbe to Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

The journey began with a six-hour flight from Entebbe to Dubai, followed by a three-hour layover.

Next was an eight-hour flight to London Heathrow, where they were having a five-hour transit before connecting to Bridgetown in Barbados via St. John’s, Antigua, on a nine-hour flight.

The final leg on schedule is a four-hour flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, where the team will play two warm-up fixtures against Scotland and Namibia.

Despite the lengthy journey, the team remains enthusiastic. "This is a whole new experience, and the guys are loving it," revealed wicket-keeper Fred Achelam.

"We are flying business class and enjoying the lounges at every stopover. There will be no serious issues of fatigue despite the long flights and layovers. This is the World Cup; it doesn't get bigger than this."

The team was scheduled to arrive in Port of Spain at 11:30 PM on Thursday night, which will be 6:30 AM on Friday morning in Kampala.


·        Entebbe, Uganda To Dubai, UAE – 6 hours

·        Dubai, UAE – London Heathrow, UK – 8 hours

·        London Heathrow, UK  To Bridgetown, Barbados – 9 hours

·        Bridgetown, Barbados – Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago - 4 hours