The Cricket Cranes returned from a successful tour of the Middle East and Asia as they prepare for the Division 4 tournament due in April in Malaysia.
Coach Steve Tikolo had his team play 5 games in Qatar where they won 2 and lost 3 and 8 games in India where they won 7 and lost only once. The team in total played 13 games in 17 days winning 9 and losing only 4.
Roger Mukasa on his first full tour as Captain was leading a side which is a mixture of youth and experience with lots of players given a chance to show the coach what they can offer before the hugely important Division 4 tournament.
Uganda got relegated last year from Division 3 and they will be seeking a fast return to the division but in hosts Malaysia, Vanuatu, Jersey, Bermuda and Denmark they will need to be at their best.
Five players from the U19 set-up were given a chance to stake their claim for places on the final 14 for Kuala Lumpur with Kenneth Waiswa, Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Stephen Wambose, Trevor Bukenya and wicket keeper batsman Fred Achellam included in the tour squad. They did no harm to their reputations putting in some eye catching performances in India and Qatar.
Simon Ssesazi and Deus Muhumuza stood out on the tour with eye catching performances and the former push the likes of Arthur Kyobe for places on the final 14.
It was unfortunate Lloyd Paternnot got injured on the first game of the tour in Qatar and couldn’t play any other part in the tour yet he was being looked at as one of the solutions to Uganda’s batting problems.
Senior players Roger Mukasa, Frank Nsubuga, Charles Waiswa, Henry Ssenyondo and Hamu Kayondo put their hands up when called upon with Captain leading from the front.
Young All round Ali Shah Khan put in some good performances with the ball especially at the death and it will be interesting to see how he fits in the plans of the coach.
There is little time for resting as the league starts in a few weeks and Saudi Arabia is scheduled to visit during the Easter Weekend for another series of warm up games.