Cricket Cranes will face Tanzania in their opening fixture of the World Cup Qualifiers in Namibia.
A famous victory in the Africa Cup against Tanzania in 2022 is a hurtful memory for the East African neighbours, and a victory at the finals would be perfect payback. However, the Cricket Cranes have had Tanzania’s number in the recent regional games despite dropping two games against them in the last 16 meetings between the two sides.
The Cricket Cranes will be fighting for the two spots at the 2024 T20 World Cup with seven other teams.
In the past teams had to go through a two-phase qualification to get a shot at the World Cup but the last edition of the Global Qualifier was in Zimbabwe where Uganda finished 5th out of 8 teams in which regional winners who didn’t qualify directly got a final shot at the World Cup.
For the 2024 World Cup, the qualification process is that teams qualify from their regions directly. The winners and runners-up from the African region will qualify for the 2024 tournament in West Indies and USA with Namibia and Zimbabwe the overwhelming favourites for the two spots.
The test for the Cricket Cranes will come on Matchday 2 and 3 when they come up against Zimbabwe and Namibia. Uganda has never played against a test-playing nation and this will be the first time they will be competing against Zimbabwe in an ICC competitive fixture. However, the players have competed against each other in other events especially when Takashinga used to visit Uganda in the past but for the nation, this will be a first meeting.
Uganda and Namibia have clashed a lot in the last three years but out of the nine competitive T20i matches Uganda has only won two with the hosts having the mental edge. Uganda will want to rewrite that history and find a famous victory in a high-stakes encounter to gain an advantage in a round-robin-based format.
By the time the Cricket Cranes get done with Matchday 3, they could know their fate with the series either 2-1 or 3-0 for them but the nature of the round-robin means that if you take your results one or two of the other results could go your way therefore its important you stay with the leaders.
The encounter against Nigeria will be followed up by the East African Derby against Kenya and finally the clash with Rwanda. Rwanda is a familiar foe but they are yet to pick a win against Uganda in an international T20 game.
The tournament will conclude with a final with both teams in the final qualifying for the World Cup.