The Uganda Cricket Cranes secured their spot in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, joining a league of esteemed teams such as Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United States, and West Indies.
Their journey to qualification showcased their prowess and determination. Commencing in Namibia Windhoek, Uganda dominated their opening match against Tanzania, claiming victory by a significant eight-wicket margin.
However, a remarkable performance by Namibian all-rounder David Wiese led to Uganda’s defeat in the following game by six wickets.
Undeterred, Uganda bounced back impressively, staging an unexpected upset by triumphing over the Test-playing Zimbabwe team with a five-wicket win.
Captain Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 48 runs stood out for Zimbabwe, yet Uganda’s bowling unit, led by Dinesh Nakrani (3/14), limited the Chevrons to 136/7. Riazat Ali Shah (42) and Alpesh Ramjani (40) guided Uganda to victory in a surprising turn of events.
Bolstered by this success, Uganda comfortably defeated Nigeria and secured a crucial 33-run win against Kenya, placing themselves in a commanding position for the T20 World Cup qualification.
Their dominance continued with a resounding nine-wicket victory over Rwanda, displaying exceptional bowling that restricted Rwanda to a mere 65 runs, easily chased down by the ninth over.
Contrastingly, Zimbabwe, despite their previous participation in the World Cup, and their earlier triumph over Pakistan in the previous edition, the Chevrons couldn’t secure their spot this time around they faced setbacks this year, missing out on qualification due to losses against Namibia and Uganda.
The aspiration of qualifying for the World Cup carried profound significance for enduring members such as Frank Nsubuga, Roger Mukasa, Brian Masaba, and Henry Ssenyondo. Their unwavering dedication to achieving a top-two finish among seven competitive nations was evident throughout the qualifiers.
Uganda faced defeat against the formidable teams of Netherlands and Papua New Guinea last year, resulting in a missed opportunity for qualification. However, this year, there have been changes in the qualification pathway and this saw Uganda make it.