- Published in General News
KAMPALA- Players’ faces were evidently weary following an unexpected non-stop schedule and inevitably, joy was only confined as Team Uganda returned from Malaysia as ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Four champions yesterday.
After a two-hour journey from Entebbe Airport to Kampala, team captain Roger Mukasa and company would later free up after relaxing during a luncheon in company of Uganda Cricket Association by National Council of Sports at Café Javas in Kamwokya.
“The boys played world class cricket,” Mukasa told Daily Monitor. Coach Steve Tikolo’s side had only travelled back hours after defending 90 runs to beat Jersey by seven runs in the final match in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
Close shaves punctuated Uganda’s success with the 1-run win over Denmark standing out most. Victory over Jersey was the fourth in a row as the East Africa nation responded to the opening 9-run loss to Malaysia.
“We give it all to our fans and we urge them to keep supporting us. In sport, you win and lose,” Mukasa said.
“The wickets were spinning as we expected and it means the trial games we had in Rwanda, Qatar, India and against Saudi Arabia really helped us a lot.”
Spinner Muhammad Afridi was the best bowler having taken 15 wickets and 15 maidens from 55 overs in the competition.
There is no much time to celebrate as Team Uganda will play at two continental Twenty20 events in Rwanda and Kenya next month before the WCL Division Three falls in.
Division Three which comprises Oman, Kenya, Singapore, USA, Uganda and Denmark is more crucial.
“We’ve beaten all those teams before. We play never-say-die cricket until the final ball. So we shall not lay our hands down, we are going to work on what did not go right in Malaysia.” added Mukasa before the tired batch parted ways at dusk.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) caught the Cricket Cranes in sort of slumber mood when they released the fixtures of Division III ICC World Cricket League (WCL) set for May 21-31 in Uganda.
The Cricket Cranes have not played a competitive let alone a trial match since November 2016 and although the net sessions have been quietly going on at Lugogo Oval, skipper Davis Karashani and Co. can now up the tempo of their preparations with battle lines drawn.
Uganda open their campaign with a fixture against familiar foe Canada on May 23 at Lugogo and then travel to the lakeside oval in Entebbe on the following day for a clash against tricky Singapore. After a day of rest on May 25, Steve Tikolo will be hoping to pick up their third win on the trot at the University Oval in Kyambogo when they lock horns with Oman. Malaysia will be their fourth opponent on May 27 at Lugogo before wrapping up the round-robin fixtures on May 29 with a date against United States of America in Entebbe.
The tournament will climax on May 30 with the playoff finals at the three different venues with all the teams competing not only for the championship but also promotion to Division II (the top two) and avoiding relegation to Division IV (the last two finishers).
May 23: vs. Canada (Lugogo)
May 24: vs. Singapore (Entebbe)
May 26: vs. Oman (Kyambogo)
May 27: vs. Malaysia (Lugogo)
May 29: vs. USA (Entebbe)
May 30: Playoff Finals
The Uganda cricket fraternity is sad. The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday had a change of heart by announcing that Malaysia will now host the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three showpiece next month.
“Every country would have loved to host and gain home advantage,” in a low tone, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Justine Ligyalingi told Daily Monitor.
“We are grateful though that there has been a timely refurbishment of our facilities here,” he said. For many, it was hard to believe as vindicated by posts of several Ugandan cricket lovers on social media.
Back on June 10, Uganda had earned the rights to host the global showpiece, whose top two finishers will get promoted to Division II set for Namibia next year.
UCA received a preparation fund of $5,000 and lots of work on refurbishment of playing venues had been undertaken for the last 104 days with the October 26 - November 2 event nearing.
But that decision has been reverted. Why? ICC were not guaranteed maximum security after the US Embassy here warned Uganda on looming terror attacks by Somali militants Al-Shabaab following the death of their leader Ahmed Godane.
Even prior, one of the participating countries USA had threatened to boycott the showpiece in Kampala over the security matter and the Ebola scare on the continent.
And once the Police reportedly arrested 25 suspected terrorists last week, Uganda’s host rights were eventually trashed.
ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE DIV. 3
2011: Hong Kong
2011: Hong Kong