It is less than 100 days since the senior national men’s team conquered the ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament.
Indeed, there has been little time to celebrate the April achievements of Malaysia.
The Cricket Cranes yesterday morning flew out to Rwanda to begin their road to the 2020 ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
The route to Australia begins with the ICC Men’s Africa B T20 Qualifier that combines four East African nations Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and hosts Rwanda.
The top two teams following the round-robin phase that bowls off on Saturday until July 14 qualify for the 2019 Africa T20 Cup who best make it to the Global Qualifier in 2020.
Nigeria and Ghana progressed from the Africa A Qualifier in April.
For skipper Roger Mukasa and company, it is a matter of maintaining the momentum during the action at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali as Uganda’s prime target is to deliver at the ICC WCL Division Three in November.
“We want to go up to ICC WCL Division Two and so this trip to Rwanda part of the preparation,” Mukasa told Daily Monitor shortly after receiving the national flag from National Council of Sports secretary David Katende in company of Uganda Cricket Association chairman Bashir Ansasira, CEO Martin Ondeko and head of delegation Jackson Kavuma.
But there is even more to it. “We are focused,” Mukasa stated, “We are not going to party in Kigali. We are going to pick the trophy.”
That will send a loud message to eternal rivals Kenya whom they face in the tournament opener tomorrow.
Coach Steve Tikolo has made just two changes to the team that won in Malaysia, opting for Ronak Patel and Dinesh Nakrani for Steve Wabwose and Simon Ssesaazi who battled with top-order batting form.
“We have been mainly working on our batting since April and so, this is a chance for the new guys to show how much they understand the format. We are a strong team and we know we can do the job,” Mukasa added.
A total 62 teams from 12 regional qualification groups - Africa (3 groups), Americas (2), Asia (2), East Asia Pacific (2) and Europe (3) are in the road to Australia.
Cricket Cranes to Rwanda
Players: Roger Mukasa (captain), Brian Masaba (vice-captain), Hamu Kayondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Deus Muhumuza, Riazat Shah, Irfan Afridi, Henry Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga, Kenneth Waiswa, Fred Achelam, Charles Waiswa, Bilal Hassun & Ronak Patel.
Non-travelling reserves: Simon Ssesazi & Derrick Bakunzi.
Officials: Steve Tikolo (Coach), Jackson Ogwang (Assistant coach), Tim Kearsey (Strength & conditioning coach), Innocent Ndawula (Media manager), Richard Okia (UCA Selectors Representative), Jackson Kavuma (Head of Delegation).
TEAM UGANDA programme
July 7: Kenya vs. Uganda, 10.30am
July 8: Uganda vs. Tanzania, 10.30am
July 9: Rest/Reserve Day
July 10: Uganda vs. Rwanda, 2.50pm
July 11: Tanzania vs. Uganda, 10.30am
July 12: Rest/Reserve Day
July 13: Rwanda vs. Uganda, 2.50pm
July 14: Uganda vs. Kenya, 2.50pm
July 15: Departure of teams