WINDHOEK. Four months into the job, Uganda’s senior men national cricket team coach Laurence Mahatlane believes he has seen all there’s within the Cricket Cranes fold and knows exactly the areas the team individuals must work on harder.
Uganda fell 5-0 to a more polished and clinical Namibian outfit in the just concluded Castle Lite Series yet the tourists had been expecting at least one or two wins from the five-match series.
“It’s true we lost but again no one should forget that we gave it our all,” said tour skipper Arnold Otwani. “We might say we were rusty but we also played a very polished and competitive Namibian outfit. We have learned our lessons and the hard work continues when we return to Kampala.”
Lifting the morale
Mahatlane didn’t hold back in showing his disappointment at the tour results but was quick to point out that in such a series dwelling on the negatives wasn’t progressive and he preferred to bank on the positives to lift the morale.
“Obviously, we are disappointed,” confessed the 44-year-old South African tactician.
“Ultimately when you play international sport, it is about results. We need to put in work because the batting is still a big issue. We might not be executing well but we are in a good space. For me the good space is that we know where we’re going wrong and it’s something that’s fixable. I don’t think we are sitting in a position where we are hopeless and just on the ropes.”
Phases of maturity
Asked to highlight the positives, the former South Africa U-19 coach stated; “The way we bowled to guys that have scored a lot international runs at the top of the order was something good. I thought the maturity shown by our middle order and lower order batsmen was something very good, too. I am a bit happier than I would have been had we not achieved some of our goals. I see ourselves improving when the missing senior players return to the set-up.”
Before this tour, Team Uganda were robbed of skipper Brian Masaba who stayed home with a hamstring injury as well the Nile Special/Uspa 2019 Male Cricketer of the Year Shahzad Kamal, who couldn’t get leave days from his work place. Opening bowler Bilal Hassun, too, didn’t make the trip. And whenever the trio is back in the mix, Mahatlane will feel ready for the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B in Jersey this September.