By Denis Musali
Cricket Cranes head coach Laurence Mahatlane named his 1st squad since taking over the job on a full-time basis in October. The 26 man squad will enter a residential camp in Entebbe on Monday and stay together for the next seven days.
Coach Mahatlane has chosen to give a lot of youngsters an opportunity with a couple of senior players left out due to work commitments, Roger Mukasa and Shahzad Kamal are the two notable absentees while Ronak Patel and Dinesh Nakrani were not able to be in fly into the country in time for the camp.
The other big omission is that of youngster Zephaniah Arinaitwe who has been part of the training squad since October, on his omission Coach Mahatlane said
"Unfortunateluy Zepha missed out on this one but its not the end of the road for him, i hope he can use this time to reflect on his game and come back strong. He is definetly still part of my plans but he is competing in a postion that has alot of talent"
The residential camp is another first for the cricket cranes team, the team will play and spend a lot of time learning from each other and building a winning team culture. The head coach Laurence Mahatlane outlined the purpose of the seven-day camp.
"The camp was to build up for the South African tour but since that was canceled we want to use this camp to find a winning formula for the team, why play for the badge, and the importance of playing for Uganda. We have been fortunate that we have a tour to Namibia that is scheduled for April so we shall use this opportunity to get ourselves ready for the tournament in Jersey. We are excited to play Namibia who is an ODI side and we want to test ourselves on how far they are ahead of us and how close we are to them. The tour will definitely give us a very good perspective as a group that is on a mission".
U19 star Pascal Murungi was a surprise inclusion after only a week of training with the group but the fast bowling department is one in which the coach has felt had very limited options.
The team will leave for the camp on Monday and will leave on Sunday.
FULL RESIDENTIAL CAMP SQUAD.
6. Masaba Brian
11. Riazat Shah
18. Jonathan Ssebanja
23. Saud Islam