The purpose of warm up matches is to get teams into rhythm,” said Team Uganda coach Rudolph.
Hamu Kayondo batting against visiting English side MCC on their tour last month. Photo by Eddie Chicco.
Abu Dhabi - Despite being one of the last teams to arrive in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the wee-hours of Monday morning, Team Uganda enjoyed a smooth flight to the Middle East and an event-free two-hour ride to their residence for the next fortnight at the luxurious five-star Yas Island Rontana Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
After a six-hour nap, it was daylight and coach Johan Rudolph swung into action with a high intensity training session at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Nursery nets.
The 15-man team chipped in two hours of fielding, spot bowling and power-hitting without showing any signs of fatigue and coaches Rudolph and Henry Okecho will be hopeful the gelling process continues in today’s warm up clash against Papua New Guinea (PNG).
“The purpose of warm up matches is to get teams into rhythm,” said Rudolph.
“I would like to make a few experiments. I am planning to send in Australia-based Patrick Ochan at No.3. He looks like he can destroy. I would also like to see how the guys adjust and adapt to these wickets and conditions.”
The former Namibia coach can, as well, experiment as much as he wants before the tournament proper bowls off on Friday because PNG and Afghanistan, who are Uganda’s two opponents in the International Cricket Council (ICC)-organised friendlies, are not in the same pool and can only clash again in the knockout and elimination stage.
Skipper Davis Karashani, too, is happy there are no early jitters in the camp and is already demanding for quick returns.
“It is always important for us to win the first game on tour,” said the wily spinning all-rounder.
“We need the fatigue out of the way and get into the mood to play positive cricket. The wicket looked good to bat on and the outfield is quick. The coaches have a chance to pick out the final combinations as well.”
Earlier at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Nursery Nets, the Ugandans bumped into an already in-session Team Canada, who understandably lost some minutes of their session as their squadsmen Henry Osinde and Kenneth Kamyuka, both former Busoga College Mwiri students and Ugandan internationals, passionately shared brotherly hugs.
But that friendship will be put on the side as both Teams are in Pool A and are scheduled to face off on the morning of November 19 in an already hyped up affair at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery I Oval in Abu Dhabi.