T20 World Cup: Cricket Cranes Learn Group Opponents

Uganda National cricket team, the Cricket Cranes, will have some familiar faces to contend with when they get their maiden T20 World Cup campaign underway in June in West Indies.

The Cricket Cranes have been placed in Group C alongside New Zealand, PNG, Afghanistan and co-hosts- two-time champions West Indies at this World Cup that bowls off on 4th June.

The Cricket Cranes will be facing New Zealand and West Indies for the very first time, but it won’t be a first for them against both PNG and Afghanistan.

In 2009 while still in Division 3 in the World Cricket League, Uganda faced Afghanistan in a game they won by 14 runs. Kenneth Kamyuka with 5 wickets turned out with a Man of the Match performance as Uganda defended their score of 216/8, but Frank Nsubuga notched the most runs for the Cricket Cranes.

The veteran posted an aggressive 44-ball 62 batting at No.7. Nsubuga remains one of the only two players still present in the team of that 2009 lot. The other is his young brother- top order batter Roger Mukasa. Mukasa contributed 38 off 48 in that game.

PNG has provided opposition to Uganda a few times; Uganda has lost on all occasions. In 2009 in the same World Cricket League, PNG won by 26 runs. Kamyuka again delivered with the ball, picking three wickets and was a 34 not out in the chase, but his effort was just not enough to win the game. Again only the two brothers of the current team featured in that game.

Then in 2014 in the 50 Over World Cup Qualifiers, PNG beat Uganda by 9 wickets after letting the East Africans score only 105/ in 35.5 Overs. Once again, only the siblings of the current team featured in that game.

Most recently in 2022 in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers that happened in Zimbabwe, Uganda lost by 8 wickets. Simon Ssesazi knocked 78 and Riazat Ali Shah helped with 48, but Assad Avala’s knock of 93 guided PNG to their victory.

The Cricket Cranes will go to West Indies as complete underdogs, but they will not let their status deter them from trying to achieve the unimaginable.

Away from Uganda, the United States- the other host has been placed in Group A. They have been pitted against Ireland, Canada, inaugural winners Indian, and 2009 champions Pakistan.

Holders England are in Group B alongside Namibia, Scotland, Oman and 2021 champions Australia.

South Africa, the other African representative is in Group D. They will come up against Netherlands, Nepal, Bangladesh and 2014 winners Sri Lanka.

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