Cricket

Uganda name squad for historic T20 World Cup appearance

Brian Masaba holds the honour of leading Uganda in their first appearance at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with their 15-player squad locked in.

After stunning Zimbabwe and the African field in qualifying, the Cricket Cranes look ahead to Group C play, taking on co-hosts West Indies, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan.

Masaba will be deputised by Riazat Ali Shah, and the skipper joins several Ugandans with over a decade’s experience in international cricket, underlined by 43-year-old Frank Nsubuga, who will be one of the oldest players in the tournament.A cult hero in emerging cricket circles, Nsubuga’s squad selection caps off a life’s devotion to the game. He first represented Uganda in ICC events as a 17-year-old in the 1997 ICC Trophy, a pathway event on the road to Cricket World Cup 1999.

Fast-forward 25 years, Nsubuga made headlines, taking a sprawling catch approaching the boundary in a Cricket World Cup Challenge League match against Kenya in 2022.

He’s not the only Ugandan player to turn heads in recent times, with spin-bowling allrounder Alpesh Ramjani ready to continue in the same form that led to his nomination for 2023 ICC Men’s T20I cricketer of the Year.

One of several notable allrounders in the squad, Ramjani claimed the most T20I wickets in men’s cricket last year, 55 of them at an economy of under five an over. Fellow left-arm orthodox spinner and squad member Henry Ssenyondo also comes off a strong 2023, taking 49 wickets in the same period.Riazat Ali Shah and Dinesh Nakrani are two notable aggressors with the bat, and the side also boasts U19 World Cup experience through youngster Juma Miyaji, who played in the 2022 event in the West Indies.

While it is the first time Uganda will take part in a senior men’s World Cup of any type, Uganda have been represented in a global event through the now-defunct East Africa team that took part in the 1975 Cricket World Cup. Samuel Walusimbi was the sole Ugandan player in the squad, featuring in three matches.

Uganda begin their T20 World Cup campaign on June 3 against Afghanistan in Guyana.

SQUAD: Brian Masaba (c), Simon Ssesazi, Roger Mukasa, Cosmas Kyewuta, Dinesh Nakrani, Fred Achelam, Kenneth Waiswa, Alpesh Ramjani, Frank Nsubuga, Henry Ssenyondo, Bilal Hassun, Robinson Obuya, Riazat Ali Shah (vc), Juma Miyaji, Ronak Patel.

Source: Supersport

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