The Cricket Cranes completed a famous series win against rivals Kenya in the one-day games, a great confidence booster for Coach Laurence Mahatlane and his team.
Kenya and Uganda are in the same group for the ICC Challenge League and with the second round scheduled for Hong Kong in December, both sides will take the notes from the tournament seriously.
For the Cricket Cranes Head Coach Laurence Mahatlane, the series has given him an opportunity to have a look at this entire squad in international cricket. The 20 players selected for the One Day games were each given an opportunity apart from Richard Agamire and Gerald Mubiru but with Uganda losing the first game the stakes were high for the second game with no room for experimenting.
Everyone who failed to impress in the game one loss was replaced in game two, with a more experienced side taking care of the business with a combative nine-wicket win. Saud Islam, Dinesha Nakrani, and Ronak Patel added more steel to the team in that commanding side at the expense of Arnold Otwani, Simon Sessazi, and Kenneth Waiswa.
In the series decider, Simon Ssesazi and Kenneth Waiswa were brought back into the side and both of them gave good accounts of themselves with some solid performances. Riazat Ali Shah wrapped the series with some lower-order hitting in a good partnership with Fred Achellam.
It was good to see Fred Achellam among the runs, clearly the confidence given to him as the first choice wicketkeeper has allowed him to play his natural game.
The headache for Mahatlane now is that he is spoilt for choice. He has a big enough squad to select from and his combinations will be the issue. The current team is missing experienced campaigners as Roger Mukasa, Frank Nsubuga, Deus Muhumuza, and Ham Kayondo.
The growth and development of players such as Gerald Mubiru, Frank Akankwasa, Simon Ssesazi means that no one is safe in the team. The stake for a place in the Cricket Cranes squad is now a high-value item. It’s so long ago to remember the last time Uganda had this luxury of resources.
With the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Kigali only three weeks away and the second round of the Challenge League B six weeks away, it’s going to be difficult to cut down the squad to 14 best players.
For Uganda, the focus moves quickly to the Pearl of Africa T20 Series starting on 10th September against Kenya and Nigeria.