- Published in General News
The effort put up in the two warm-up matches against Kenya select sides have defined Team Uganda’s new batting potential ahead of the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifiers.
Regardless, there is still concern notwithstanding ability to score 250 plus runs in games against the Nairobi XI and Kenya’s seniors earlier this week.
The team’s best batsman Zephaniah Arinaitwe (pictured bowling) is struggling to perform. “He is going through a patch of poor form,” Team Uganda assistant coach Jackson Ogwang told this paper.
Now in four successive warm-up ties, the opening batsman Arinaitwe has struggled to cross the 25-run mark against the Uganda Select sides and Kenya.
In those innings, his best return was 21 runs in the last tie against Uganda XI at Lugogo last Saturday.
He made 14 runs off 17 balls against the Nairobi Select but struggled further with only 8 off 7 against Kenya XI on a batting wicket at Kanbis Sports Club in Eastleigh this week.
But Ogwang still trusts the 16-year-old. “I believe in his abilities. He just needs one good score to get his confidence back and he is good to go.”
“To beat the odds, we need Arinaitwe scoring. We trust him and shall work with him to improve the figures in one way or another,” coach Francis Otieno noted.
Arinaitwe was Uganda’s best batsman with 114 runs in five innings during the last pursuit for a ticket to the ICC Youth World Cup in Malaysia two years ago.
His best score was a 37-ball 59 in the nine-wicket win over Papua New Guinea before Uganda came fourth in the road to Bangladesh.
“I will come better. I need to be patient too,” Arinaitwe offered in a recent chat with this paper.
“He knows what the team requires of him and we’ll back him up,” captain Kenneth Waiswa said.
The Baby Cricket Cranes begin their quest for the lone slot to World Cup slated for New Zealand next year against Botswana at Jaffrey Oval tomorrow.
Uganda last took part at the global event 12 years ago in Sri Lanka.
ICC AFRICA U-19
WC QUALIFIER - JULY 1-8
Uganda vs. Botswana
Kenya vs. Ghana
Ghana vs. Uganda
Kenya vs. Botswana
By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA
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
Having been a ‘victim’ of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s security drive, with global showpieces being taken away from Uganda twice, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is ensuring they are not third time unlucky.
In August 2010, ICC Security Manager Sean Carroll from Australia ruled against Uganda hosting a must-win Intercontinental Shield match against Namibia following two bomb blasts that rocked Kampala on July 11. Uganda went on to comprehensively lose that first-class match by 10 wickets in Windhoek.
Then in October 2014, UCA looked on helplessly as more games were taken away from them with two ‘powerful’ participating nations USA and Bermuda allegedly at the forefront of pressurising ICC to change venue. Both countries from the ICC Americas Region insisted that Uganda was not safe to host the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division III tournament, once again citing insecurity because of the Al-Shabaab terror alerts then.
In the end, the alerts turned out to be mere scares and justice was served as Uganda finished second at the meet hosted by Malaysia and forthwith progressed to Division II.
Since ICC Development and Cricket Operations Officer Nigel Mascarenhas wrote to UCA on November 20 revealing that Uganda’s bid had bettered that of Canada and Malaysia to host this year’s event, UCA are seizing every opportunity to make it count this time.
When ICC sent two of its officials Sean Norris (Security Manager) and Gurjit Singh (Development Events Manager) on a four-day working visit last week, UCA worked overtime to ensure the pair give a good review of Uganda when presenting the final reports to their bosses in Dubai, UAE.
UCA chairman Richard Mwami pulled the strings further by squeezing in a ‘priceless’ meeting between the ICC officials with the Minister of Sports and Education Janet Museveni at the State House in Nakasero last Friday.
The First Lady has now pumped up the volume in the cricket fraternity with a couple of tweets on her social media page to prove that UCA have government’s full backing to pull off a successful event.
“The ICC delegation was in the country to ascertain Uganda’s sustainability to host the WCL Tournament,” read one of her tweets.
The one that went viral goes: “We’re ready to host the ICC tournament and we want to see cricket in Uganda revived. Uganda can be banked on to host the tournament.” Prior to meeting Minister, Norris and Singh also met the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Assistant Inspector General of Police (IGP) Andrew Sorowen alongside several security firms and visited social amenities like Nakasero Hospital plus inspecting the three ovals; Entebbe, Kyambogo and Lugogo, where the tournament will be played.
And with the backing from the highest of hierarchies in Uganda, UCA will, now, not only be hoping to host an incident-free event but also look to successfully woo more sponsors on board to bolster the growth of the gentleman’s game here.
The upcoming tournament
Name: Division III ICC WCL
When: May 21-31, 2017
Venues: Lugogo, Kyambogo & Entebbe
Nations: USA, Canada, Oman, Malaysia, Singapore, Uganda
Benefit: Top two teams progress to ICC WCL Division II
2017 ICC WCL DIV III
Uganda: 5th 2015 ICC WCl Div 2
Canada: 6th 2015 ICC WCL Div 2
Malaysia: 3rd 2014 ICC WCL Div 3
Singapore: 4th 2014 ICC WCL Div 3
USA: 1st 2016 ICC WCL Div 4
Oman: 2nd 2016 ICC WCL Div 4
By Innocent Ndawula
The Baby Cricket Cranes must beat a bunch of permutations if they are to progress to next year’s ICC U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
A third appearance at the global stage will be a reality if Henry Okecho’s boys follow up yesterday’s nine-wicket win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) with another big one when they face Ireland in an epic qualifier in Malaysia today.
“We will carry this momentum from the PNG win into tomorrow (today)’s game,” coach Henry Okecho told Daily Monitor on phone from the team base at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. However, victory in their final round-robin contest alone is not enough.
Uganda must also pray that one of unbeaten sides Ireland and Nepal falters in their remaining fixtures. “Our job is to beat Ireland and see how everything else goes. We have some plans for Ireland but will look at the wicket in the morning and take a decision,” Okecho said about a possibility to change his playing side.
Yesterday’s win over PNG at the Kinrara Academy Oval improved Uganda’s Net Run Rate greatly.
Like men on a mission, a charged bowling unit led by man-of-match Frank Akankwasa (3/15) and Abdallah Lubega (2/14) bowled out the Asian side for 83 runs in 30.4 overs.
Then seven boundaries and three sixes in a quick-fire half-century of 59 runs off 37 balls from opener Zephaniah Arinaitwe plus a 20-run combo from Kenneth Waiswa (13) and John Gabula (8) sealed the emphatic win.
ICC U-19 GLOBAL WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
TODAY’S FIXTURES - 4.30AM (UG. TIME)
Uganda vs. Ireland, Bayuemas Oval
Nepal vs. USA, Kinrara Oval
PNG 83/10 Uganda 84/1
USA 100/10 Ireland 101/2
Uganda’s U-19 national cricket side – The Baby Cricket Cranes - fly in from Dar es Salaam this evening knowing the hard work starts now and they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
Henry Okecho’s boys whitewashed Tanzania by 125 runs in the final round of the Pepsi ICC Africa U-19 Cricket World Cup qualifier played at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Oval yesterday.
Man of match Collins Okwalinga (7/14) and spinner Frank Akakwansa (3/13) bowled out Tanzania for 44 runs in 22 overs after Abdallah Lubega (52), Zephaniah Arinaitwe (21) and Rogers Olipa (25) had helped Uganda set 169 in 46 overs – their biggest total of the tournament.
The massive win guaranteed that Uganda finished second and booked the solitary berth allocated to the continent for the global qualifier scheduled for Bangladesh later this year. Both Uganda (0.686) and Kenya (0.131) finished tied on six points but the former edged through courtesy for a better Net Run Rate (NRR).
Namibia (eight points) won the showpiece and walk straight into the 2016 Youth World Cup in Bangladesh despite falling to Kenya by four wickets yesterday.
The global qualifier, which will feature all the second-place finishers from the five ICC regions, comes as a reprieve to the Ugandans who almost bottled it. Only the champion of the global qualifier will progress to the main World Cup.
“We withheld their daily allowances for the two days they played poor cricket,” head of delegation Dennis Musali told Daily Monitor. “And our actions worked as the boys woke up and put on a clinical show against the hosts.”
AFRICA U-19 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Final qualifying round - results
Uganda 169/10 Tanzania 44/10
Namibia 101/10 Kenya 103/6
Nigeria 72/10 Botswana 63/10