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Uganda Pace duo returns to bolster Cricket Cranes T20 World Cup preparation in India

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Pace bowlers Juma Miyaji and Cosmos Kyewuta, who faced prolonged spells on the sidelines due to injuries last year, are now part of the 15-member squad heading to India for crucial practice games that will help the team to prepare for the world cup.

Despite Miyaji’s swift return, he encountered setbacks during the Castle Lite series in Namibia last year.

The return of these dynamic bowlers not only bolsters Uganda’s opening overs but also provides a crucial defensive edge during the power play.

Their exceptional form in 2022, evident in the world cricket league, Castle Lite series, and global T20 Qualifiers, showcased their prowess before injury setbacks. These long-term absentees, absent from the Cricket Cranes since July last year, bring a wave of excitement as the team gears up to face formidable opponents, including the Mumbai Cricket Association Senior Men’s team, teams from Mumbai A Division, and Omtex ICWC Senior Men’s Team in Saphale Maharastra, India.

During their 12-day stint in India, the team will engage in at least nine T20 practice games against select sides.

The return of Wicketkeeper Fred Achellam and top-order batter Ronald Lutaaya adds depth, complementing the hard-earned spot of debutant Innocent Mwebaze, who secured a place in Jackson Ogwang’s final team.
The Cricket Cranes have strategically chosen the Omtex ICWC Cricket Institute in Saphale Maharastra, India, for their World Cup preparations.

This renowned institute boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, featuring international-standard cricket pitches indoors and outdoors.

Nestled amidst lush greenery and blessed with fresh air, the institute provides an ideal backdrop for the team to refine their skills under the expert guidance of professional and specialized coaches.

Interim Head Coach Jackson expressed excitement about the Omtex visit, emphasizing its role in refining skills ahead of the World Cup. He sees this tour as an opportunity to not only fine-tune the team but also evaluate players who require exposure, ensuring the formation of an extended team as the World Cup approaches.

The tour follows closely on the heels of the Uganda Cricket Association’s revelation of the contracted players for the 2024 season, a pivotal development for both the Cricket Cranes and Victoria Pearls.

These squads are gearing up for an arduous international schedule, navigating the All of Africa Games and the T20 World Cup Qualifiers for the Victoria Pearls, alongside the T20 World Cup for the Cricket Cranes.

Notably, the Victoria Pearls’ contracted list has expanded to 14 players, with Susan Kakai and Esther Iloku making significant contributions.

Meanwhile, the Cricket Cranes boast a formidable list of 20 players, a testament to the outstanding performances of debutants Robinson Obuya and Nsubuga Sirajje during the impressive 2023 season.

The 2024 Victoria Pearls Training Squad includes contracted talents like Consy Aweko, Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Rita Musamali, Evelyn Anyipo, Stephanie Nampiina, Patricia Malemikia, Irene Alumo, Gloria Abukor, Sarah Akiteng, Phiona Kulume, Esther Iloku, and Susan Kakai.

Additionally, non-contracted players Proscovia Alako, Malisa Ariokot, Lorna Anyait, Sarah Walaza, Rita Nyangendo, Kevin Amuge, and Immaculate Nandera add depth and diversity to the squad.

The conspicuous absence of a contract for Proscovia Alako in the recently released list has sparked curiosity among cricket enthusiasts.

Given her extensive tenure with the team, the lack of a transparent explanation for her omission leaves many pondering why she has not been awarded a contract thus far.

The Cricket Cranes Training Squad for 2024 comprises an impressive mix of contracted players, including Riazat Ali, Simon Ssesazi, Alpesh Ramjani, Henry Ssenyondo, Dinesh Nakrani, Ronak Patel, Franco Nsubuga, Roger Mukasa, Brian Masaba, Bilal Hassun, Kenneth Waiswa, Robinson Obuya, Cyrus Kakuru, Juma Miyaji, Cosmas Kyewuta, Pascal Murungi, Lutaaya Ronald, Fred Achelam, Siraje Nsubuga, and Ssebanja Jonathan. Non-contracted players, including Watuva Calvin, Innocent Mwebase, Baguma Joseph, and David Wabwire, showcase the association’s strategic approach to building a comprehensive squad ready for the challenges of the upcoming international competitions.

This strategic move to India also coincided with a momentous occasion where Plascon, the Cricket Cranes’ official partners, hosted a celebratory dinner, recognizing the team’s outstanding accomplishments in 2023.

These achievements include historic qualification for the 2024 T20 World Cup and securing back-to-back Africa Cup titles in South Africa.

The event, attended by Plascon Brand Manager Daniel Kayongo, NCS Assistant General Secretary Technical David Katende, and UCA officials, witnessed a commitment to sustainability, with NCS pledging to double their cricket support.

Plascon further solidified their commitment by extending their partnership for five more years, offering support to both the Cricket Cranes and Victoria Pearls. The evening served as a poignant reminder of the shared dedication to cricket excellence.

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