The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has named a 20 – man strong team to face Kenya and Nigeria in upcoming limited overs’ bilateral and tri – series’ next month.
The hosts will play three One Day matches against Kenya on 4th, 5th and 7th September in the inaugural Derby Trophy.
Nigeria joins the two teams in an ICC sanctioned T20I tri – series from 9th – 18th September.
Conspicuously missing from the squad is old time spinner Frank Nsubuga alongside the trio of top order batsmen that includes his brother Roger Mukasa, Shahzad Kamal and Hamu Kayondo.
Regarding the numerous changes, Coach Laurence Mahatlane says that more opportunities are necessary ahead of an exciting series and a packed couple of weeks. “The squad translates to about seven changes from the team that played against Namibia and that means more opportunities for more players. This will help us understand how players respond to the pressure of international cricket and where they are as a lot will be required of them both physically and mentally. We have a number of youngsters that have really not put up their hands in being selected through our internal trial games and some old guys that have not been around lately and they get another opportunity to showcase their skills and claim their number in the team. this is exciting for me as we are starting to create a bit of depth and a lot of competition for every position in the team.”
However, a star is born with the acquisition of a second left arm spinner, Mubiru Gerald, who gets an opportunity to pair his left arm wrist spin with veteran Ssenyondo Henry’s left arm orthodox. The exciting right handed batsman will be the sole Mukasa family representative for the senior side for the first time in more than two decades following the axing of his elder brothers Nsubuga and Roger from the squad, while ex – international wicket keeper batsman Lawrence Sematimba enjoys his coaching role with Uganda ‘A’ for the second year running.
Ssenyondo’s younger brother Sessazi Simon makes it to the squad after playing in the 2018 ICC WCL Division 4 tournament in Malaysia which Uganda won. The left handed opening batsman comes from a cricketing family which also includes his brother Ronald Semanda.
Pace bowling sensation Cosmas Kyewuta has earned a place in the squad after making his senior debut for Uganda last year in the Namibia series where they were whitewashed 5 – 0. The stylish former Under – 19 player will be looking forward to play against his idol, Elijah Asoyo, who has been selected in Kenya’s Provisional side for the tour.
Fresh from making noise in the 2021 Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) 50 – over League with 107 runs and 9 wickets for Ruaraka Sports Club, Kenneth Waiswa leads the pack of all – rounders that include Riazat Ali and Dinesh Nakrani. Kenyans will remember the duo for coming into the fold during the reign of the prolific ex – Kenya international Steve Tikolo as the UCA head Coach in 2017 and 2018 respectively. His skipper Brian Masaba will also be missed for his role in the field and having contributed 79 runs and three wickets for the Thika Road based side.
Harsh Panchal is the only debutant in the squad that has a mixture of old faces and upcoming talent for Uganda. The pace bowling sensation has earned himself a contract with the A side after showing that he can step up with the big boys, bowling tidy and long spells.
Richard Agamire has worked his way back up to the senior side from the Under – 19 squad. He is notably remembered for being Uganda’s hero when they beat Hong Kong in the ICC CWC Challenge League B in 2019 after Charles Waiswa got injured.
Bilal Hassan makes another attempt at consistency in the first XI, having first made it to the senior team during the 2018 ICC WCL Division 4 tournament in Malaysia.
While Uganda haven’t lost to Nigeria in the couple of instances they have met, Kenya became their cool customers only recently.
Kenya’s clean sheet against Uganda ended in 2016 when they lost by 2 wickets at Nairobi Jaffery Sports Club in a One Day Quadrangular series featuring Saudi Arabia and Qatar in September.
In November of the same year, an Emmanuel Bundi – led XI was handed a 152 – run thumping at Kyambogo Oval by one of the Uganda select sides in another 50 -over Quadrangular series that also featured Takashinga XI.
The three teams are preparing for the ICC sub regional Qualifiers to be played later in the year in October and November in Kigali, Rwanda. The nighbours are also getting in knick for the next round of the ICC WCL Challenge League B whose schedule is yet to be confirmed.
Uganda take part in the Sub Regional Africa Qualifier Group A on 14th – 23rd October alongside Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Seychelles.
The Sub Regional Africa Qualifier Group B tournament on 31st October – 8th November will involve Botswana, Cameroon, Mozambique, Saint Helena, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
Kenya and Nigeria are automatically slotted in for the finals on 15th – 21st November by virtue of being the highest ranked teams as at 1st January 2020. The finals will also feature Group A and Group B winners and runner ups.
The squad is listed below:
- Masaba Brian (C)
- Otwani Arnold
- Sessazi Simon
- Patel Ronak
- Muhumuza Deus
- Akankwasa Frank
- Waiswa Kenneth
- Shah Riazat Ali
- Nakrani Dinesh
- Ssenyondo Henry
- Mubiru Gerald
- Hassan Bilal
- Kyewuta Cosmas
- Agamire Richard
- Waiswa Charles
- Ssebanja Jonathan
- Panchal Harsh
- Kizza Jonathan
- Saud Islam
- Achelam Fred