Uganda starts T2O WC preps in Kigali

Ugandan cricket may be down but not entirely out. It is still a bitter pill to swallow that the Cricket Cranes got relegated to the unfamiliar ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Four on home soil a week ago.
But Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) can still save face via the ladies’ front. 
In September, this East African nation will be one of the five participants when Namibia hosts the ICC Africa Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The development was announced at the weekend and UCA has already rolled out a plan for the big continental meet.

Yesterday, two teams; the U-23s and the Girls Cricket Week Select sides were named to represent Uganda at the annual Kwibuka Women’s T20 Peace Cup slated for Rwanda capital Kigali this weekend.

Yusuf Nanga, who guided Masaka SS to second place at the Cricket Week and Soroti Academy tutor Ivan Kakande are tasked to guide the sides respectively when they grace the four-team competition comprising Kenya and Rwanda national teams.
“This is not a normal tournament for us (Uganda) like in previous years,” Nanga told Daily Monitor before the teams left for Kigali last evening. “We expect tough cricket from Kenya and Rwanda to shape our girls,” the U-23s’ coach said.

Rightly so. Notwithstanding Pioneer Cricket Club’s Easter trip to Kigali, this competition is perhaps the biggest engagement lady cricketers are having since the start of the year.

The start of the National Women’s League was been delayed by the just concluded ICC WCL Division Three here last month.
“The plan is to have the girls play wholeheartedly as we prepare for Namibia. The statistics from here will be used by the selectors to choose the best players for the August trials in Nairobi before Windhoek.” Nanga added. Nanga, also a player with Africa Cricket Club, has six of his 14 players from defending champions Tornado Bee including captain Gertrude Candiru, Racheal Ntono, Mary Nalule, Rashida Kalsum, Saidat Kemigisha and wicket-keeper Patricia Munguryek.

Meanwhile, his students from Masaka SS including Janet Baluka, Teddy Ayella and Immaculate Nakisuyi made the cut to Kakande’s Cricket Week Select team. Champions Jinja SS only have captain Stephanie Nampiina and Rita Musamali in the side. The tournament starts on tomorrow at the Kicukiro Oval, Kigali.

Gertrude Candiru (Captain), Racheal Ntono, Patricia Munguryek, Kevin Awino, Mary Nalule, Jennifer Nabwana, Janet Mbabazi, Rashida Kalsum, Martha Akello, Saidat Kemigisha, Irene Alumo, Dalphine Namubiru, Claire Mushakamba, Christian Tumusiime
COACH: Yusuf Nanga, 
MANAGER: Naome Kayondo


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Okecho believes Baby Cricket Cranes can reach third WC

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).

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