Tough World Cup group least of Thawi’s concern

No fear. The Baby Cricket Cranes will have to confront powerhouse India and South Africa. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • At both World Cup editions in Bangladesh 2004 and Sri Lanka 2006, Uganda won just two matches, and twice finished 14th.

National boys’ cricket coach Ivan Thawithemwira is choosing not to give minimal attention to Group B opponents ahead of next year’s ICC U-19 World Cup in West Indies.

In what appears to be a rude reception upon return to the global stage since 2004, the Baby Cricket Cranes will face Ireland, India and South Africa.

“To be honest, I do not have a take on that draw,” he said. “It’s a new territory for all of us. If we were like the West Indies or India, we’d care.

“We walk in as underdogs so whether we are playing Australia or India, we just want to give a good account of ourselves. We have to confront whoever is in our way,” he added.

Thawi masterminded Uganda’s qualification at the continental meeting in Rwanda where they overcame an opening eight-wicket loss to Namibia to defeat Rwanda, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Whereas Thawi will care less about the matches at Everest, Guyana and, at the Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Ground in Trinidad and Tobago, the oppositions’ pedigree can’t be overlooked.

Early preps
India are record four-time champions (2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018). South Africa will make their 13th appearance at the Youth World Cup and they won it in 2014, while Ireland’s best finish in eight appearances was 10th in 2010.

“The group is the toughest in the tournament but we won’t back down,” Thawi’s assistant Robinson Turinawe said.

“We have to do our homework well.”

A group of 25 players began training this week at Kyambogo and after the fitness drills, there will be trial matches in Lugogo this week before a tour of Asia.

“UCA have lined up a two-week tour to Sanjay Farm, a week at the Omtex Academy in India, and another in Sri Lanka for the boys to sharpen their skills,” team manager Sylvester Rokani said.

At both World Cup editions in Bangladesh 2004 and Sri Lanka 2006, Uganda won just two matches, and twice finished 14th.

ICC U-19 World Cup pools

Pool A:     Bangladesh, England,         Canada, UAE
Pool B:     India, South Africa,         Ireland, Uganda
Pool C:     Pakistan, Afghanistan,         Zimbabwe, PNG
Pool D:     West Indies, Australia,         Sri Lanka, TBC

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