Uganda cricket has consistently taken the stick since the nation suffered shock relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division Three last month.
The interest for the gentleman’s game is not as huge as it was before May 23 on and off the oval.
And the tiring mental constructs will take a while to fade away, more evidenced by low batting totals in recent Jazz Safari National League ties.
The current senior men’s team generation has hinged on the class that partook at the 2004 and 2006 ICC U-19 World Cup tourneys.
The inevitable feeling is to have new blood take up the spots.
The nation has a chance to forget the misery should the current U-19 side beat the odds and qualify for next year’s ICC Youth 50-Over World Cup in New Zealand.
Unlike before, the Baby Cricket Cranes must finish top ahead of Kenya, Botswana and Ghana at the regional qualifier in Nairobi.
“This team bats deep and that should do the jugular for us,” team’s coach Francis Otieno told Daily Monitor following a series of training sessions at Lugogo.
Squad cut in size
Otieno and assistant Jackson Ogwang trimmed their squad from 25 to 14 while dropping familiar names like Joseph Byaruhanga, John Gabula, Ronald Kinene, Juma Miyagi and Collins Okwalinga.
Aziz Damani’s Kenneth Waiswa, who was dropped for the ICC WCL, is skipper and knows what’s at stake. “If we qualify for the World Cup, we can change the face of Ugandan cricket like it happened in 2006,” said the promising medium pacer.
Waiswa will be deputized by Zephania Arinaitwe and the pair has two trial matches against their seniors tomorrow and on Saturday at Lugogo Oval. “Giving Arinaitwe means he must play with responsibility.” Otieno reasoned.
By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA
- Published in Development