By Charles Mutebi
ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier
Two warm-up matches
Uganda v Whakatane
Two official warm-up matches
Uganda v UAE (Jan 10)
Uganda v Canada (Jan 11)
IF there is one thing going for the national team ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier it is this – everything is stacked against them.
For starters, Johan Rudolph’s side has the lowest world rank of the 10 teams due for the New Zealand event at 22.
Then there is the ill-fated adventure that was Uganda’s campaign in November’s ICC T20 World Qualifier, which was primarily an exercise in confidence-erosion.
Add to that, the controversial exclusion of Arthur Kyobe from selection and you have the perfect cocktail of a team standing on shaky ground.
Hardly ideal for an outfit in Uganda’s precarious position, right? Perhaps not.
Yet ask UCA chief executive Justin Ligyalingi and he sees the potential of good arising out of all this doom.
“I know there is a lot of team bashing and not many people think we will do well in New Zealand,” conceded Ligyalingi in an interview with New Vision Sport.
“But all this negativity can help us. Remember we were in a similar situation going to Bermuda (for the ICC World Cricket League Division 3) earlier this year.
“We had to do well as a must and there was a lot of pressure but we went there and performed.”
The siege mentality has long been one of sports’ most inspiring devices and Uganda are clearly flying to New Zealand with the ‘us against the world’ attitude.
“We know what is at stake and we have prepared hard enough to do well,” said Uganda’s senior batsman Benjamin Musoke.
“We are targeting a top-six finish but we will definitely finish in top eight.”
Eight is the magic number for Uganda as any finish worse than that would be disastrous.