- Published in International Competitions
Prepared by Denis musali
ganda’s latest sensation Arnold Otwani was already talking about playing cricket in International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division II soon after guiding the Cricket Cranes to a five-wicket win over Denmark in the opening game of Division III here in Al Amarat, Muscat on Friday.
The Division II showpiece doesn’t happen until April 18-28, 2019 in Namibia but after his match-winning knock of 88 off 86 balls, Otwani can dare to dream.
“Oh Yeah, I feel so good. It has been more than a year away from the national team. I had some ups and downs but I have worked so hard to be here again,” said Otwani, whose knock comprised of 15 boundaries and helped Uganda reach their target with 82 balls to spare.
“I have proved my critics wrong. I am happy to deliver and this should be the start of many good things to come. I dedicate this award to the coach (Steve Tikolo) because he believed in me.
“Now our main target is to go to Division II. We don’t want to either look back or even go a level down. Even in the next matches our plan is to come hard at the opponents but by playing basic cricket. We are hungry to do well.”
Only two places, for the top two finishers, are at stake from this six-team global event to progress to the Division II in a series of leagues constituted as the qualification pathway to the 2023 World Cup in India.
The 23-year-old Otwani also paid tribute to his fellow top performer on the day Charles Waiswa, who finished with figures of 4 for 25. “Charles bowled very well. He earned all his wickets because he had to hit the deck hard and extract some more pace and bounce from the wicket.”
The Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2 line-up will be completed by the top four teams from Division 2, who will join Scotland, Nepal and United Arab Emirates. The bottom four teams from the Oman event will play in the ICC Cricket World Challenge League.
By press time, Uganda was taking on USA in a crunch fixture looking to make the Americans pay for having inflicted a 13-run defeat on them during the same event hosted by the former in May 2017 at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Ground.
It was that loss that condemned Uganda to unchartered territory with their first-ever relegation to the Division IV tier. Luckily, Uganda quickly regained its status by winning subsequent Division IV event in Malaysia May 2018.
ICC WCL DIVISION III, OMAN
Kenya 164 all out in 49.2 overs
Oman 166/5 in 42.5 overs
Oman won by 5 wickets
(with 43 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Kaleemullah of Oman
(4 for 26 in 10 overs including 4 maidens)
Denmark 165 all out in 44.2 overs
Uganda 167/5 in 36.2 overs
Uganda won by 5 wickets
(with 82 balls remaining)
Man of Match: Arnold Otwani
(88 runs off 86 balls (15 fours) & 4 catches)
TUESDAY’S FIXTURES - NOVEMBER 13
Oman vs. Denmark, OCA Turf 1
Uganda vs. Kenya, OCA Turf 2
Team Uganda have calmly settled into the Arabian Peninsula of Oman ahead of their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.
With Uganda set to play its opening match on Friday (November 9), Uganda Cricket Association chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira worked his magic to send the Cricket Cranes for at least four days of acclimatization here in Muscat.
All seems to be going according to plan for the team based at the five-star City Seasons Hotel as the team continues with preparation and adapting programme.
“We are grateful to Mr Khimji Kanak the director of KR Group here in Oman who has hosted and ensured our desire to acclimatize becomes a reality,” said Jackson Kavuma, the Cricket Cranes Team Manager.
“He has taken care of a large chunk of our logistics to ensure that we have a decent place to put our heads and also access training facilities. This preparation is priceless as the team embarks on a tough but possible mission.”
The Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.
The season is winter here but doesn’t differ too much from that of Uganda with the conditions hot and air staying dry. The team will continue to adapt before taking on Denmark and USA on two back-to-back days (Friday and Saturday).
Acclimatizing. ItThe Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.
By Innocent Ndawula
The Cricket Cranes – Uganda’s national men cricket team – were this morning involved in action but off the oval as they indulged in some Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
They made time for the disadvantaged with a visit to Mulago Hospital where they were welcomed with faces of gloom and doom as parents and guardians attended to their patients.
But it was at Jeliffe Children’s Ward 16 that the Cricket Cranes got a reality check when they saw hundreds of children of varying ages, some struggling for their lives and others only waiting for divine intervention to heal.
Mulago Hospital’s Customer Relations Officer Shaban Ssebuliba asked Cricket Cranes opening bowler Bilal Hassun to lead the prayers.
As the players and team management comforted the sick, many couldn’t help but break down. The sad tales from the parents and guardians left others thoughtful but made them stronger and work with resolve as they thoroughly cleaned and polished not one but five wards in the Children Zone.
They also mopped the verandah of the 1945 establishment, swept the compound and wrapped it up by putting smiles on their hosts’ faces as they handed over an assortment of play toys, clothes, scholastic materials and home-care items.
Shaban Ssebuliba Customer Relations Officer of Mulago said; “What you have done is unbelievable. You have comforted us and left us with smiles. The lives of these sick children are going to be even better. Thanks for the love and time given to us. You guys are real Cricket Cranes and I know u will fly. We will follow you and support you from now on.”
There was also a moment of selfies at the facility for the Endiro Coffee-sponsored team that flies out to Muscat, Oman tomorrow (November 4) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.
The Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma said; “We are privileged to be the first national team to do this here. We are very emotional right now. We hope the time we have shared with them will give them hope and belief. We will continue to pray for them.”
More than anything that the Cricket Cranes did, they gave hope to the patients and left a fresh aura of awe-inspiring belief.
By Innocent Ndawula