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Cricket Cranes off to South Africa for continental T20 Championships

Cricket Cranes team before departure for South Africa (photo by Shaban Lubega)

LUGOGO – It has been a busy year for Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) on the international scene and the bumper schedule continues this weekend as Uganda’s men national team heads to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to vie for maiden honours in the Africa Twenty20 Cup.

The expanded Africa Twenty20 Cup is scheduled to run from September 12-24; with a preliminary round on September 14-16 that will be followed by the finals on September 23-24.

The Cricket Cranes will be making their debut alongside Nigeria. Other nations include; Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya.

Uganda will be utilizing this opportunity as part of their preparation for the road to the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Division Three tournament scheduled for Oman in November

Uganda is in Pool A alongside provinces KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal.

The exciting action will be in four coastal venues in Pietermaritzburg, Oudtshoorn, East London and Paarl featuring 12 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Affiliates, three Associate Members and five ICC Africa teams taking place over two thrilling weekends.

Coach and Kenya Legend Steve Tikolo and his boys have put in the hard yards in practice mixing their trial matches with Twenty20 and 50-over encounters and will be fancying their chances of claiming a major scalp or two at the continental event.

ICC Africa Development Officer Justine Ligyalingi is equally excited by Uganda’s inclusion into the tournament;

“It is disappointing that Ghana had to pull out, but in Uganda, we have a team that will be ready to compete and make the most of the tournament as they test themselves against some of the best young cricketers on the continent, particularly ahead of the WCL Division Three.

As part of their preparations for the Oman event, both Kenya and Uganda will remain in South Africa following the conclusion of the Africa T20 Cup to play 50-over warm-up matches against KwaZulu-Natal Inland and the South African Academy respectively.

Uganda captain Roger Mukasa said; “We welcome every opportunity to play international cricket. Our batting has been solid and we are going to give our best.

“Playing seven matches (Four T20s and Three 50-Over matches) in 10 days is priceless and we thank the UCA Board for making this happen. It is going to be an invaluable boot camp.”

Team Uganda-Tournament Itinerary:

Wednesday, September 12: Teams Flies Out To South Africa via Rwanda

Thursday, September 13: Team Arrives/Trains in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Friday, September 14: vs. KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Pietermaritzburg Oval (10.30am)

Friday, September 14: vs. KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Varsity Oval (2.30pm)

Saturday, September 15: vs. Easterns, Varsity Oval (2.30pm)

Sunday, September 16: vs. Western Province, Pietermaritzburg Oval (10.30am)

ICC Division III World Cricket League Build Up Matches:

Monday, September 17: 50-over match @Pietermaritzburg Oval

Wednesday, September 19: 50-over match @Pietermaritzburg Oval

Thursday, September 20: 50-over match @Pietermaritzburg Oval

Friday, September 21: Return to Uganda

Uganda Cricket Cranes travelling to South Africa:

Roger Mukasa (captain), Brian Masaba (vice-captain), Hamu Kayondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Deus Muhumuza, Riazat Shah, Henry Ssenyondo, Henry Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga, Kenneth Waiswa, Fred Achelam, Charles Waiswa, Bilal Hassun & Zephaniah Arinaitwe

Reserves for 50-Over build up matches:

Simon Ssesazi, Irfan Mohammed Afridi & Emmanuel Isaneez

Officials:

Coach: Steve Tikolo. Assistant Coach: Jackson Ogwang Team Manager: Jackson Kavuma.

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