She Cranes’ World Cup moment

Goalkeeper Hanisha Muhammed is relishing her first bite at the World Cup. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

It’s also the national netball women’s team, She Cranes, third World Cup appearance in a row as they have developed some good habits.

There is no stage as big as the World Cup in any sport. It’s every team and every players’ dream to play in one.

For Ugandan netball, the World Cup is a gold standard as they are set to make a fourth appearance starting today in Cape Town, South Africa.

It’s also the national netball women’s team, She Cranes, third World Cup appearance in a row as they have developed some good habits.

In fact, they finished seventh at the 2019 edition in Liverpool, England and will want to better that as Africa hosts her first Netball World Cup.

The big monkey on the She Cranes’ back is having never won an opening game at the global showpiece.

Going by history, that will change today. Uganda are supposed to overcome Singapore, a team they have beaten before.

She Cranes has faced Singapore twice at the 2013 Nations Cup as well as the 2015 Netball World Cup warm up game.

The respective 60-32 and 39-18 victories tilt history in Uganda’s favour even if this team has only two survivors from the last World Cup.

Defending champions New Zealand, who have won this title on five occasions, and Trinidad and Tobago are the other teams in group D.

Skipper Irene Eyaru is confident ahead of their opener at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

"Our intention is leading group D hence we are going to work hard on court to see that we beat Singapore before embarking on our next fixtures," Eyaru, one of the two survivors from the 2019 squad, said.

While the weather has posed a challenge, coach Fred Mugerwa will be pleased to have had Mary Nuba join the team this week.

The England-based goal shooter, going to her second World Cup, was not able to take part in their three-month training camp.

Nuba, however, fitted in like a glove as Uganda beat Barbados 54-47 and Scotland 54-33 in the two practice games. 

Playing format

Sixteen teams are competing at the Netball World Cup that will be played in three stages.

Four teams in group A, B, C and D will play each other in a round robin format.

The top three teams from Pools A and B move forward to form Pool F, while the top three teams in Pools C and D will regroup to pool G.

The top three teams from Pool A play the three Pool B teams and the three teams from Pool C play the three teams from Pool D

The bottom team from each pool is effectively eliminated from the main competition, but moved into Group E to contest 13th to 16th place.

Once all the matches have been played, the top two teams in Pool F and Pool G qualify for the semi-finals.

The remaining teams can no longer win the World Cup, but play final classification matches.

In the semi-finals, the winner of Pool F plays the runner-up in Pool G with the winner of Pool G playing the runner-up in Pool F.

Matches for medals follow, where the two teams who won their semi-final ties lock horns for gold and silver, and the losers battle for bronze.

Teams that finish third or fourth in Group F or G compete for fifth to eighth place.

This is followed by a final classification match where the winners and losers take to the field.

The format also applies to those vying for the ninth to 12th slots.