The national team, Cricket Cranes, are so fervent about the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Division III Tournament in Uganda they cannot wait to get started.
“This is it,” vowed opening batsman Arthur Kyobe at a news conference to unveil a 14-man squad and four reserves to represent Uganda.
The briefing was held at National Council of Sports (NCS) premises at Lugogo yesterday. “It’s got to be it. For eight months we have worked with coach Tikolo (Steve), who has been there, done it all. We strongly believe we have done enough preparations to finish in the top two.”
This historic tournament will be held at Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe Ovals from May 23 to 30, with Canada, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore and the USA joining Uganda for the crack at balls with bats.
Division Two perks
Finishing in the top two will guarantee Uganda more matches, contract opportunities for players, and a chance to play the main World Cup Qualifier.
“And we don’t want to just finish in the top two” emphasised 28-year-old Kyobe, “We have been there before on four occasions but we have always come back down.
“Now we want to go into Division Two and just push on further. You never know what the opportunity could do for us as a country and players.
“You saw our performances against Kenya in the Easter Series (Uganda swept Kenya 4-0). The cricket we played shows you we are much improved now.”
Jersey fiasco, missing captains
Uganda’s middle order batsman Deus Muhumuza, 27, shares Kyobe and indeed his coach Tikolo’s clear sentiments of at least making the top two.
Muhumuza, also a bowling all-rounder, says “the major target is top two but of course we would also want to take the trophy.”
Yet it was not all gloss for Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) at the press conference, organisers choosing to unveil the team in Speed Blitz Blues jerseys, an Australian brand, instead of national colours.
“For this function,” explained UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi, “We wanted to give mileage to our partners from Australia, but for our second, we shall unveil our uniform together with our partners.”
The unveiled team also appeared without captain Davis Karashani and vice Brian Masaba. “Our captain and vice-captain could not be here today because of their work engagements,” team manager Andrew Meya expounded.
By Andrew Mwanguhya
- Published in International Competetions