September 12, 2010

ICC Intercontinental Shield

Tension underlies Uganda's trip to Namibia

Cricinfo

Colin Macbeth

When the Uganda national cricket team set off for South Africa last Saturday they had one intention in mind: to give Namibia a good thumping in their own backyard.

September 18 sees the start of their four-day Intercontinental Shield match against the ‘kaburu’ (Boers), a match likely to be sweating with tension after its unpopular transfer by the International Cricket Council (ICC) from Kampala to Windhoek on security grounds.

The move followed the Al-Shabaab bombings in which scores of people were killed at Kyadondo rugby ground, just a stone’s throw from the main cricket ground, Lugogo. But the decision left players and cricket-lovers in Uganda in dismay and some vowed vengeance - on the field of play. Both teams have plenty to play for, as whichever side wins the Windhoek fixture will go on to the Shield final against UAE in Dubai in November. And that means money.

Already there are murmurings that the whole thing was a ‘fix’; that it didn’t need the July 11 bombs to persuade ICC to shift the fixture from East Africa to a southern part of the Continent; that the visit to Kampala by ICC chief security adviser Sean Carroll was just a smokescreen for a decision already confirmed.

Whatever the real reasons, the Ugandans feel they have been harshly treated. For Namibia will have played all their Shield matches at home, Uganda all theirs away. Both teams made easy meat of Bermuda but, while Namibia went down at home to UAE, Uganda got a draw in Abu Dhabi in January, hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

What Ugandan presence there will be in Windhoek remains to be seen. It was certain that hundreds of spectators would have flocked to Lugogo Oval, vuvuzelas at the ready, had the fixture been in Kampala. That fact underlines the Ugandans’ disappointment in a nation where the game is coming up fast and furious, especially among Africans. Even Carroll was impressed by the programme of events set up by the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA).

Meanwhile, national coach Barney Ebrahim caused few surprises with the 14-man squad he picked to take to South Africa for warm-up matches before the big game in Namibia. Captain and vice-captain, Akbar Baig and Davis Arinaitwe, remain at the helm, as they were against UAE in January, and openers Roger Mukasa and Arthur Kyobe stay in place. Thereafter the list is strikingly familiar, although the omission of spinner Raymond Otim, pace bowler Asadu Seiga and batsman Daniel Ruyange will worry a few.

As expected, former exiles Hamza Saleh and Issaneez Emmanuel get into the side based on their league form, while Wanderers duo Deusdedit Muhumuza and Arthur Ziraba survive their blooding in UAE.

Uganda squad: Akbar Baig (capt), Davis Arinaitwe, Issaneez Emmanuel, Arthur Kyobe, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Roger Mukasa, Benjamin Musoke, Frank Nsubuga, Hamza Saleh, Ronald Ssemanda, Lawrence Ssematimba, Dennis Tabby, Charles Waiswa, Arthur Ziraba

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Posted by S Star on (September 26, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

Interesting views spilled out on this blog...however, the end will always justify the means! From the rsults, Uganda seemed terribly under-prepared for this encounter with a solo show in the 2nd limited overs game!

Arthur, the team really needed GOD!

Posted by Meety on (September 19, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

Don't care who wins, but I would like to see that the game spreads in popularity in Africa, particularly Uganda. Namibia have been good at this level for a long time - I don't think they have the population base to really step up. Uganda I think have more potential. I think this time around it will be a close victory to Namibia - a bit too much experience.

Posted by Richard Mwangi on (September 17, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

Although ICC gave Uganda a raw deal by moving the tournament from Kampala to Windhoek, Ugandan players have what it takes to beat Namibians at home. They have one of the best fielding sides among the associate members and their batting and bowling is up to the standard. It is a well balanced side.

The only sad thing is that the fans will not watch the match. ICC should compensate Uganda next season by allowing them to play all their matches at home.

Posted by Arthur Nuwagaba on (September 17, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

Namibia has never been an easy contest for Uganda especially in their own backyard. However, given the cercustance following the decision on the venue...I believe Uganda will play with precesion to get a Good result. A Tie is most likely, which I believe will send Uganda thru to the Final. So help us GOD~

Posted by thawithemwira ivan on (September 17, 2010, 6:34 GMT)

Having watched from close quaters, with intesnse interest, the build up to this prospect of a titilating encounter; the intense practice sessions, the form of players leading up this moment and noteworthy, the improvement of the players in general. Ziraba's immense talent, Mukasa's eye, Kyobe's resolution, Musoke's experience and Ssemanda's nagging line and length,..oh and don't forget Tabby's electrifying pace, i believe, beyond a modicum of reasonable doubt, that the cranes can pull off this one.

However, they shouldn't expect a stroll in a windhoek park. those namibians will be up in their faces the full four days. but the writting is on the wall... a ugandan win!!!

Posted by thawithemwira ivan on (September 17, 2010, 6:33 GMT)

Having watched from close quaters, with intesnse interest, the build up to this prospect of a titilating encounter; the intense practice sessions, the form of players leading up this moment and noteworthy, the improvement of the players in general. Ziraba's immense talent, Mukasa's eye, Kyobe's resolution, Musoke's experience and Ssemanda's nagging line and length,..oh and don't forget Tabby's electrifying pace, i believe, beyond a modicum of reasonable doubt, that the cranes can pull off this one.

However, they shouldn't expect a stroll in a windhoek park. those namibians will be up in their faces the full four days. but the writting is on the wall... a ugandan win!!!

Posted by Musiime Diana on (September 15, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

This will be a tight contest.Who ever will apply themselves well will be victors on the day.However with the circumstances surrounding the build up to the game,i predict Uganda will go through.

Watch out for that opening batting pair of Uganda!!!!!!

Posted by Ahmed Hussein on (September 14, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

This is a confident Uganda Cricket team. To be honest, the Uganda football team finds it difficult to win away unlike the Cricket team. Namibia, i can assure you that with Hamza Saleh and Issaneez back in the squad, you are in for a cricket lesson. I predict a Uganda win.

Posted by Jashan(India) on (September 13, 2010, 17:19 GMT)

Would be a great match between the regional powerhouses. Both teams have a great potential to make into the top Associate teams and such tournaments give them the right practice.

I wish there was motivation of promotion and relegation between Intercontinental Trophy & Shield. Would have made things even more exciting

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