Coach Henry Okecho believes Team Uganda has the ability to win the imminent six-nation ICC U-19 World Cup Global Qualifier and secure the remaining ticket to next year’s Youth World Cup in Bangladesh.
“We have a very good chance,” the tactician told Daily Monitor. “But only if the boys play to their potential,” he said after releasing his final 14-man squad for the October 14-23 event in Malaysia.
Despite the unbearable omission of vital Kololo SS pair Rogers Olipa and Siraj Nsubuga who have to sit Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations, five schoolmates made the cut.
“We will surely miss both of them but their voids are well filled,” he said. Leg spinner Simon Okecho will cover former U-16 captain Nsubuga as Collins Byaruhanga does for Olipa.
Aside from Byaruhanga, reigning Pespi Schools Cricket Week champions Busoga College Mwiri have Zephania Arinaitwe, Collins Okwalinga and David Wabwire.
“Overall, it is a well-balanced team with talented players who have the x-factor you need,” Okecho added.
Schools Cricket Week MVP Kenneth Waiswa, Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs’ (KICC) opening pair of Abdallah Lubega and John Gabula are other notable inclusions.
With assistance from Lubega, Derrick Bakunzi will lead the side that seeks to return to the final showpiece for the first time since 2006 against favourites Nepal, USA, Ireland and Papua New Guinea. Baby Cranes last played at the WC in 2004 (Bangladesh) and 2006 (Sri Lanka).
- Published in Development