Cricket Cranes are set to make their mark on the international stage as they head to Namibia for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers Africa finals. The stakes are high, with seven teams, including hosts Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Kenya, competing for the coveted two slots in the 2024 T20 World Cup, to be held in the USA and West Indies. The tournament spans from November 20th to November 30th.
A notable shift in the qualification pathway by the ICC last year means that teams now qualify directly from their respective regions. The top two teams emerging from the round-robin format will secure their places in the main event of the 20-team tournament in 2024. Namibia and Zimbabwe, having participated in the 2022 World Cup in Australia, are considered strong contenders to clinch the available slots.
Uganda, ranked 23rd in the global T20 rankings, enters the competition with optimism, seeking favorable results in familiar territory. The team will face a significant milestone as they play against a test-playing nation for the first time, meeting Zimbabwe on Match Day 3.
Despite challenges with injuries leading to the absence of Juma Miyagi and Cosmas Kyewuta, the team remains resilient with David Wabwire and Jonathan Ssebanja retaining their positions. Riazat Ali Shah and Dinesh Nakrani make a return to the squad after missing the last international outing in Rwanda. Brian Masaba will lead the team under the guidance of Interim Head Coach Jackson Ogwang.
Ogwang expressed the team’s readiness and determination to make Uganda proud, emphasizing the importance of each game in the tournament. The Cricket Cranes will spend 10 days in Zimbabwe on a training tour, engaging in six T20 games against Takashinga Cricket Club, the champions of the national league in Zimbabwe.
The team is scheduled to arrive in Namibia on November 20th, gearing up for their opening fixture against Tanzania on November 22nd.
The full squad includes Brian Masaba (Captain), Riazat Ali Shah, Kenneth Waiswa, Ronak Patel, Dinesh Nakrani, Simon Ssesazi, Henry Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga, Robinson Obuya, David Wabwire, Jonathan Ssebanja, Roger Mukasa, Bilal Hassun, Cyrus Kakuru, and Alpesh Ramjani.
Team officials accompanying the squad are Jackson Ogwang (Head Coach), Emmanuel Oroma (S&C Coach), Shamim Nassali (Physiotherapist), Tusiime Steven (Team Analyst), Innocent Ndawula (Media Liaison), and Charles Waiswa (Team Manager).