“I have done a lot of coaching for teams across Africa and by far this is the most prepared I have seen a team,” said the former South African batsman.
“I have been in charge for nine competitive matches and have won five and lost four,” added the 59-year-old in an interview with Kawowo Sports. “I think that is a pretty good return plus we have had time to work on those areas that have been wanting.”
The former Proteas Test player Kirsten, who has been in charge for barely two months after taking over from Davis Turinawe to lead Uganda in Malaysia, is optimistic that they can actually go on and win the tournament.
We have worked on the spin bowlers, organized our batting order and our general attitude and mental strength is excellent. Franco (Nsubuga) gets a lot of respect from the boys and our goal going into the ICC WCL Div III is to win.
“We have managed to find a good balance between the batting and bowling, the gym has been a permanent residence and they are pretty agile in the fielding as well’
Uganda, who set off on Monday for Kuala Lumpur, will be tussling it out with Nepal, USA, Bermuda, Singapore and hosts Malaysia after the tournament was moved from Kampala, Uganda citing security concerns.
The top two sides qualify for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Namibia due early 2015.
On playing at the sub-continent, Kirsten believes that the training and build-up games down under will be key. “I first met them on September 5th but since then they have stuck to the training regime, they are nice and hungry and I feel that is always a good way to start off a tournament.”
Assistant coach, Micheal Ndiko who is more familiar will the players agrees on working with Player experience.
“A couple of players were part of the U19 World Cup contingent that played in Bangladesh including Karashani (Davis), Kyobe (Arthur) and Mukasa (Roger) something that we can build on,’ echoes Ndiko and the debutants have given a good account of themselves so far.’
On coaching in Uganda, the amiable Kirsten believes it is a match made in heaven. “I have been in Zambia and Kenya and was aware of Uganda Cricket and where they have been,” he said.
“For me this is match–up came at the right time. A call from head of Africa Cricket, Kassim Suleiman, on the 25th August about Uganda Cricket needing some technical help and high profile assistance (and) I was happy to help because I believe Uganda has a lot of talent and I am always available to further their development.”
The short-term goal, the former right-hander believes; is to finish among the top two sides at the ICC WCL Division III in Kuala Lumpur.
“Every team makes plans against sides you play. Cricket is a game of situations, you have to have a killer instinct and control aggression but with good thought.
“If you do not apply thought and read the game it changes so fast. I will assist and help out during the drink breaks but ultimately it is about thinking correctly, choosing the batting team selection and keeping calm.”