Pascal Murungi displays the African Qualifiers trophy during the captain's photoshoot Credit: Rwanda Cricket

The business end of the 2022 U-19 World Cup starts tomorrow for the Baby Cricket Cranes as they take on Ireland.

The youngsters have camped in the Caribbean island of Guyana for the last 14 days where they have played two warm-up games.

Despite losing both to Scotland and Ireland the boys are ready to go. Uganda is in Group B alongside Ireland, South Africa, and mighty India.

They will meet an opponent the Pearl has played two times in the World Cup games and once in a warm-up.

Ireland faced Uganda in 2004 winning by 123 runs and in 2006 winning by 6 wickets but the latter nicked a win in the 2006 warm-up game.

Ireland is a relatively easier opponent compared to India and South Africa for Uganda to start their World Cup campaign.

Coach Ivan Thawithemwira and his technical team should have done some homework from the warm-up games to enable them to bring down the Irish.

If the two warm-up games are anything to go by, the batting is something that needs to be addressed.

Against Scotland the youngsters only managed 112 runs and folded for just 46 against Sri Lanka.

The responsibility to score runs will weigh heavily on Ronald Opio, Ronald Lutaya, Asaba Brian, Cyrus Kakuru, Isaac Ategeka, and Captain Pascal Murungi.

The bowlers have been challenged in the warm-up games with good practice but given the nature of the slow wickets in the West Indies players such as Joseph Baguma, Matthew Musingunzi, and Edwin Nuwagaba will be key for Uganda.

The loss of Akram Nsubuga and Munir Ismail who were players in the 1st XI means there are two openings in the playing XI for a batter and a bowler to compensate for the two.

Only Christopher Kidega didn’t get a chance to play any of the warm-up games but everyone else of the 15 players got an opportunity.

Uganda used all their three spinners in both warm-up games and that should give an indication that Uganda will be using the slow bowlers to drag the game in their favor.

Uganda pitted against only test playing nations will have to make sure they earn the respect of their peers as the biggest stage for youngsters.

The Baby Cricket Cranes are full of young exciting talent but they will need to make sure the arrogance doesn’t get in their way.

This is the third appearance for Uganda at the U-19 World Cup following appearances in 2004 and 2006 and it should spur on the next generation of Ugandan cricketers.

After Ireland, Uganda will switch base to Trinidad and Tobago take on South Africa on the 18th and India on 22nd.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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