Uganda’s Confident Cricketers Gear Up for T20 World Cup 2024

Alpesh Ramjani

Mumbai: In a remarkable turn of events, Uganda’s cricket team is poised to make history at the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. Batting all-rounder Alpesh Ramjani believes that this tournament presents the biggest opportunity of their lives. Let’s delve into the details:

Qualification Triumph:

    • Last November, Uganda delivered a stellar performance in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Region Qualifiers. Their impressive showing secured them a spot in the T20 World Cup for the first time, finishing second behind Namibia.
    • Notably, Uganda also managed to defeat the formidable regional team, Zimbabwe, during this period.

    Facing Aspirations and Challenges:

      • Speaking to the media at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Ramzani expressed both excitement and determination. He emphasized that this experience would be unforgettable.
      • Ramzani highlighted that playing against cricketers they aspire to emulate is a massive opportunity. Uganda aims to compete at the highest level, aspiring to join the ranks of the world’s best.

      Asian Coach Advantage:

        • The appointment of former Delhi and Railways cricketer Abhay Sharma as Uganda’s coach is a strategic move. Ramazani believes that having an Asian coach will significantly benefit the team.
        • Sharma’s wealth of experience will undoubtedly contribute to Uganda’s performance in the World Cup. Beyond cricket skills, his mentorship will aid in the personal development of the players.

        Indian-Origin Players:

          • Alongside Ramazani, Uganda boasts two other players of Indian origin: Raunak Patel and Dinesh Nakrani (from Saurashtra).
          • Their inclusion adds diversity and talent to the team, creating a unique blend of cricketing backgrounds.

          Game’s Popularity Soars:

            • Uganda’s qualification for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the United States in June, has sparked a surge in cricket’s popularity within the country.
            • Ramazani draws parallels between Uganda’s rivalry with Kenya and the iconic India-Pakistan clashes, further fueling the excitement around the sport.

            History and Organization:

            • The Uganda Cricket Association has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1998.
            • Uganda’s cricket journey dates back to 1914, but they began competing regularly in the early 1950s against regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania (then Tanganyika).
            • From 1966, Uganda contributed players to a combined East African team, which later became East and Central Africa in 1989.
            Alpesh Ramjani

            ICC Tournaments:

            • Uganda’s first ICC tournament played independently was the 2001 ICC Trophy in Canada.
            • They participated in the next three editions of the tournament, renamed the ICC World Cup Qualifier, but didn’t come close to qualifying for the Cricket World Cup.
            • In the World Cricket League (WCL), Uganda reached ICC World Cricket League Division Two three times but was relegated to Division Three each time.
            • The team also featured in six editions of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
            • Their breakthrough came when they qualified for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, marking their first appearance in the ICC T20 World Cup after finishing 2nd in the 2023 Africa Qualifier.

            As Uganda prepares to compete on the global stage, the Cricket Cranes are ready to make their mark and inspire a new generation of cricketers.