Cricket Cranes World Cup living dream

Cricket Cranes celebrate qualifying for the 2024 T20 World Cup. PHOTO/ICC AFRICA MEDIA 

What you need to know:

Jinx Over. The zillion years of close shaves, pain and hurt are no more for the Cricket Cranes after they sealed their first-ever qualification march to the Cricket World Cup that will be hosted by West Indies and the USA next year.

Ugandan sport has suffered many near misses. The mother of all capitulations is a phrase synonymous with the Uganda Cranes – the senior men’s national soccer team.

Many a time they have failed to qualify for the coveted Africa Cup of Nations by the slimmest of margins – once they were victims of the ignominy of Goal Aggregate (GA).

The senior men’s national cricket team, too, have had their fair share of close shaves. Whilst their junior side – the Baby Cricket Cranes – have been to three International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 World Cup events in 2004 (Dhaka, Bangladesh), 2006 (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and 2022 (West Indies), their men were groveling.

Uganda’s misses range from one-run, one-wicket and last-ball thrillers that left many hearts broken and a handful of promising individual careers buried with no glory to show.

But over the years, several Ugandan sporting teams have worked on their craft and emerged from their own doldrums to scale their heights on the global stage.

From the Lady Cranes 7s, Rugby Cranes 7s, She Cranes (Netball) to Woodball, Ludo and Lacrosse, teams have dared to dream differently.

For the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), the focus on the flagship team – The Cricket Cranes – has been a journey worth reckoning.

Coming of age

The baby steps finally grew into giant leaps as the Cricket Cranes secured their spot to the T20 World Cup set to unfold in the West Indies and the USA next year, Thursday.

The momentous 9-wicket victory against Rwanda that unfolded, yesterday, at the Wanderers Sports Ground Oval in Windhoek completed the cycle for Uganda, who had previously failed to skip the final hurdle, to mark a historic achievement for the sport-crazy nation that is Uganda.

Uganda’s journey to this monumental qualification has been nothing short of extraordinary, featuring standout performances that left the global cricket enthusiasts in awe.

Notably, captain Brian Masaba and his men clinched two epic victories against formidable opponents, including a thrilling win against Test-playing nation Zimbabwe by 5 wickets.

The Ugandan bowling was pinpoint accurate like a sniper’s rifle as the African powerhouse Zimbabwe huffed and puffed to 136.

This triumph showcased Uganda’s resilience and ability to challenge cricketing heavyweights as they majestically strode home with five balls to spare.

The pinnacle of their journey, however, unfolded in a highly anticipated East African Derby against Kenya, where Uganda emerged victorious by 33 runs.

The echoes of this victory reverberated across the cricketing globe, capturing the attention of fans and experts alike.

The East African clash brought the cricketing traffic to a standstill as Uganda displayed unparalleled skill, determination, and a winning spirit.

Final flourish

The victory over Rwanda at the Wanderers Sports Ground Oval became the crowning jewel in Uganda’s T20 World Cup qualification saga.

The team showcased a harmonious blend of strategic and individual brilliance from players like Simon Ssesazi, who stroked whose impactful performances contributed significantly to the team’s success.

As the news of qualification spreads, cricket enthusiasts in the nation and around the world join in the celebration of this historic achievement.

The Cricket Cranes have not only earned a coveted spot in the prestigious T20 World Cup but have also etched their names in the annals of Ugandan cricketing history.

ICC T20 World Cup Africa Final


Rwanda 65/10 Uganda 66/1

Uganda won by 9 wickets (with 71 balls to spare)

Zimbabwe 217/4 Kenya 107/8

Zimbabwe won by 110 runs wickets

Nigeria 93/10 Namibia 96/2

Namibia won by 8 wickets (34 balls remaining)


Team                                  P             W           L            NR          Points                  NRR

Namibia                             6             6            0            0             12                       2.658

Uganda                              6             5             1            0           10                         1.334

Zimbabwe                         6             4             2            0            8                          2.922

Kenya                                 6             3            3           0            6                          -0.911

Nigeria                               6             1            4            1            3                           -1.026

Tanzania                            6             1             5             0           2                           -1.507

Rwanda                              6             0             5            1             1                           -4.303