With the dust yet to settle on Uganda’s U-19 Boys Team successful qualification campaign to the World Cup in West Indies next year, their senior men’s team-the Cricket Cranes have taken their campaign to Kigali with hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
The Baby Cricket Cranes are still the talk of the town and rightfully so, but the focus must shift to the Cricket Cranes, who bowl off their long but realizable voyage in Kigali at two ovals; the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) in Kicukiro and Gahanga Stadium.
The ultimate goal for Coach Laurence Mahatlane’s troops is to grab one of the 15 spots for the right to step onto the Airbus to Australia. It will be decided through a four-step qualifying process.
A total of 86 different teams all start with the dream alive on a global scale. At the regional level, there will be 67 Associate Members taking part, including Uganda.
Due to the depth of strength within Africa and Europe, both regions have sub-regional qualifiers feeding into a final qualifier for the region. Africa, the Americas, East Asia Pacific, and Europe will have one top tier regional qualifier and Asia will have A and B to determine which teams will progress into the two eight-team global qualifiers.
The 16 available spots in the Global Qualifiers will be filled by one team each from Africa and EAP Qualifier respectively. They will be joined by two teams each from the Americas and Europe qualifiers. Finally, Asia which has Qualifiers A and B will see one team from each event make up the eight spots from regional qualification.
For the Cricket Cranes, this they have no shortcut and excuses to make as they must top the Group A ICC Men’s T20 Sub Regional World Cup Qualifier where they play as top seeds and strong favorites.
Team Uganda has been meticulously training in camp for the last two months and will be buoyed by their recent success at the Pearl of Africa Twenty20 Tri-Series against Kenya and Nigeria that saw them rise in the international rankings from 33rd to 29th in the world.
Coach Mahatlane believes his team is in a good space. They boys have worked very hard in preparation and look to have mastered the small things and take it one game at a time.
Fast-rising youngsters; Simon Ssesazi and former U-19 captain Frank Akankwasa make the squad alongside left-arm orthodox bowler Gerald Mubiru as well as livewire opening bowler Richard Agamire, who is made a return to the side for the first time since he helped Uganda finish unbeaten with 10 points at the first leg of the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B in Oman December 2019.
Veteran ace Frank Nsubuga, too, bounced back in the squad after he missed out on the last two series hosted by Uganda at Kyambogo and Entebbe Oval.
The guys want to perform well and keep the positive vibes of Ugandan sport going on especially after their juniors qualified for the World Cup.
Uganda kicked-off their fixtures against Malawi on October 16th at Gahanga, playing hosts Rwanda on October 17 and wrap up their round-robin fixtures on October 22nd against Seychelles.
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