Cricket Cranes pose for a photo after the flag off at Lugogo | Credit: Nicholas Bamulanzeki

Juma Miyagi’s impressive form at the U-19 World Cup impressed both the selectors and coach Laurence Mahatlane and they have made a decision to give him an opportunity to showcase what he can do on the build-up tour to Namibia.

The young fast bowler touched speeds of 135kph in the West Indies where he was able to pick up 13 wickets in the five games that he took the field in.

An injury to Bilal Hassun opened up a slot for the youngster who, if impresses more, will most likely get looked in for the Challenge League B tournament that will be hosted by Uganda in June. He will make his senior debut in a place that could shape his future and turn him into an asset for Uganda.

The other man to make his debut on this trip is someone who has had to wait for his chance. Emmanuel Hasahya isn’t a household name but he has done nothing wrong to his reputation. A man dedicated to his craft, Hasahya who is commonly known as sachman came close to earning a senior call-up last year but once it came down to a choice between him and Simon Ssesazi, the left-hander took the place.

The absence of a couple of senior players Saud Islam, Roger Mukasa, Hamu Kayondo, and Ronak Patel opened up a slot for Hasahya and this could be his chance to seal a permanent place at the top of the Cricket Cranes batting order. He has been in prolific form in the national team practice games and needs to transfer that form into the international setup.

The last time the Cricket Cranes visited Namibia, they were overwhelmed by the ODI nation but the lessons helped Coach Laurence Mahatlane and his side to work on their shortcomings finishing 2021 on a very strong note winning the Africa T20 Championship and the Pearl of Africa Series against Kenya and Nigeria.

This time they go to Namibia with their captain Brian Masaba and his vice Deus Muhumuza available for the trip. Wicketkeeper Fred Achellam, bowler Richard Agamire, and opening batsman Simon Sessazi get their chance to impress against a very formable opponent.

The build-up tour is to help the Cricket Cranes prepare for the Challenge League B tournament in June and the T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in July.

The Cricket Cranes will play three T20 games and two 50-over games and the tour will run from April 6th to 15th.

The team flies out on Wednesday at 2 am and shall arrive in Namibia on Thursday afternoon and they will play their first T20 game on Friday.

The Cricket Cranes who are now colored by Plascon were smartly dressed in Plascon polo T-shirts, the Plascon Brand Manager Daniel Kayongo said

As Plascon Uganda, we wish the very best for the team during this international friendly tour of Namibia. We understand the international schedule ahead of us is very tough which makes the preparation phase very key to the team’s ambitions. Therefore, we are committed to supporting the team to the very best that we can. Go and make the nation proud.

Daniel Kayongo, Plascon Brand Manager
Plascon’s Daniel Kayongo poses for a photo with the Cricket Cranes | Credit: Nicholas Bamulanzeki

Coach Laurence knows the assignment isn’t going to be easy against a side that is ranked 8 places ahead of Uganda in the T20 global rankings. He knows that the result isn’t as important as the experience his side will be able to gain on the tour.

These are exciting times. This is going to be the highest team we have ever played in terms of ICC rankings. They’re ranked 16th in T20I and are already guaranteed a spot in the World Cup.

We have the perfect chance to gauge where we are and it is going to be a good experience for the youngsters to experience some tough cricket. We want to see how far we have come in one year since we last played them.

Laureance Mahatlane, Cricket Cranes Head Coach

Full Contingent:

Squad

1. Brian Masaba (Captain), 2. Deus Muhumuza (Vice-Captain), 3. Dinesh Nakrani, 4. Riazat Ali Shah, 5. Kenneth Waiswa, 6. Fred Achelam, 7. Frank Nsubuga, 8. Arnold Otwani, 9. Henry Ssenyondo, 10. Cosmas Kyewuta, 11. Emmanuel Hasahya, 12. Simon Ssesazi, 13. Frank Akankwasa, 14. Richard Agamire, 15. Juma Miyagi.

Officials

1. Laurence Mahatlane (Head Coach), 2. Jackson Ogwang (Assistant Coach), 3. Shamim Nassali (Physiotherapist) 4. Alvin Mboijana Bagaya (Analyst), 5. Innocent Ndawula (Media Manager), 6. Jackson Kavuma (Team Manager)

Matches Breakdown

April 8 – T20 International:

  • 2pm-5pm: Uganda vs. Namibia, United Cricket Club

April 9 – T20 International:

  • 11am-2pm: Uganda vs. Namibia, United Cricket Club

April 10 – T20 International:

  • 1pm-4pm: Uganda vs. Namibia, United Cricket Club

April 12: 50-over Match

  • 10.30am-5.45pm: Uganda vs. Namibia A, United Cricket Club

April 13: 50-over Match

  • 10.30am-5.45pm: Uganda vs. Namibia A, United Cricket Club

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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