Masaba out, visa hitch delays Cricket Cranes

Few Smiles. Coach Mahatlane celebrates a catch taken by captain Masaba (L) during a practice session at Lugogo. PHOTO / EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • The omens were once again not on the 30-year-old all-rounder’s side as he failed a late fitness test closely watched by the technical team before ruling  himself out of contention for a spot on the side that is slated to travel to United Kingdom for the third and final round of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B showpiece in Jersey scheduled for August 5-15.

For the fourth time in his reign as Cricket Cranes captain, Brian Mark Masaba will have no say in Uganda’s campaign on the international scene.

Injured on the first day of practice at the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in Bulawayo on July 10 while taking the last catch of the day, Masaba was forced to watch the entire showpiece from the dugout with a broken finger as Uganda rallied to finish fifth.

The omens were once again not on the 30-year-old all-rounder’s side as he failed a late fitness test closely watched by the technical team before ruling  himself out of contention for a spot on the side that is slated to travel to United Kingdom for the third and final round of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Challenge League B showpiece in Jersey scheduled for August 5-15.

Pain & Joy

“Masaba batted for about four overs before signaling to the coaches that he is not yet ready for competitive action,” a close source that preferred anonymity told this reporter.

Despite Masaba’s miss, the team welcomed back vice-captain Deus Muhumuza into the fold after the batting all-rounder got a hip injury during the second round of the same event hosted in Kampala from June 14-28.

Muhumuza, who also missed the Zimbabwe voyage, now takes over the captaincy mantle – a role he played to perfection last year with a 100 per cent record.

Former vice captain-cum-wicketkeeper Arnold Otwani also got the selectors nod after failing to make the Zim cut whereas pacemen Bilal Hassun and Juma Miyagi continue to earn their spots after impressing in the City of Queens and Kings earlier this month.

The latest update from Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)’s secretariat in Lugogo, however, indicates that the team will not be able to travel today as earlier scheduled for some acclimatisation days and two build-up matches because of delayed United Kingdom visas.

The close source revealed that the secretariat were working their socks off to ensure the team leaves Uganda at the earliest opportunity when the passports return from the UK Visa office in Pretoria, South Africa.

UGANDA’S FIXTURES IN JERSEY
August 5:  vs. Jersey, Farmers CC Ground.
August 7:   vs. Italy, Grainville - St. Saviour
August 10: vs. Kenya, Grainville - St. Saviour
August 13: vs. Bermuda, Grainville - St. Saviour
August 14: vs. Hong Kong, Farmers CC Ground

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