Deus Muhumuza | Credit: John Batanudde

Cricket Cranes have heard two previous shots at One Day International (ODI) Cricket and have unfortunately failed in both attempts. The unit will be hoping that Jersey is the charm at their third attempt at being an ODI nation.

ODI cricket would mean that for the next three years, the Cricket Cranes will play a total of 36 international matches on a home and away basis. This would mean Uganda Cricket will need a ground to host their home fixtures which should help them raise the profile of the game locally and also an opportunity to expose a larger group of players to international cricket.

Deus Muhumuza was finding his feet in international cricket in 2014, the last time Uganda made an attempt to get ODI cricket. However, a 10th place finish left Uganda wishing rather than living the dream.

Muhumuza is now the man tasked with ensuring that the third time is the charm as the Cricket Cranes take a slim one-point lead to Jersey.

Uganda is in this position after collecting maximum points from the first round in Oman but they failed to stretch their two-point lead at home during the second round picking up only six points and dropping four to their closest challengers Jersey and Hong Kong.

Jersey left Kampala as the form team after picking up 10 points that helped them close the gap to just two points and they sit on a very healthy Net Run Rate (NRR) in third. If it comes down to Net Run Rate, Jersey is a big positive of 1.603 compared to Uganda with 0.577 and Hong Kong with 0.998.

The assignment for the Cricket Cranes this round is to make sure they take care of Jersey in the opening game and Hong Kong in their final game of the third leg because they are the closest competition. They have their derby with Kenya to manage without dropping the ball against Italy and Bermuda. They were able to win five out of five in Oman in the 1st round and a similar feat will mean they move on to the next round of qualifiers scheduled for next year.

The Cricket Cranes have made a lot of progress as a team and progression will enable more while failure could be the end of some great careers. Frank Nsubuga is still economical at 42 and only constant competition will keep that fire burning. For the new generation, it’s important that they continue playing at a high level consistently so that they improve their skill levels.

It is a tournament for the Cricket Cranes likened to a casino visit where you have to play your last hand and lay put all your chips in. It’s all or nothing for the Cricket Cranes and anything short of five wins might not be enough to see them advance.

Fixtures:

DateMatchTime (EAT)Location
05/08/2022Uganda vs. Jersey13:00Farmers
07/08/2022Uganda vs. Italy13:00Grainville
10/08/2022Uganda vs. Kenya13:00Grainville
13/08/2022Uganda vs. Bermuda13:00Grainville
14/08/2022Uganda vs. Hong Kong13:00Farmers

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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