Uganda Named Squad for Their Historic T20 World Cup

Uganda, where almost 77% of the population is under 25 years is going to feature itself as the 5th African nation to play in the Men’s T20 World Cup this year. Demolishing the hopes of Zimbabwe and Kenya, Uganda has secured 5 wins in 6 qualifying matches to join the ultimate battle in the USA and West Indies.

Cricket followers all over the world are now curious to know the story of this African country and their journey to reach this 9th edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup! That is where we have you covered.

Uganda’s Cricketing Background

The people of Uganda were introduced to Cricket in the early 1900s. However, the British rule helped to spread the game’s familiarity with mass people. In 1939, four schools in Uganda started playing this game during their sports week which was an inspiration for those children to make it to their national team!

Later, in 1940, three clubs started a Cricket tournament which lifted their standard a bit. Within the 70’s, many clubs emerged from different cities of Uganda as the game was gaining popularity gradually. Yet, the lack of proper infrastructure and investment in the sector slowed down the optimistic pace of this nation.

With numerous political and social incidents, Cricket in Uganda was affected drastically in the 80s. The game probably lost its momentum on that stage. However, the 90’s decade marked as the Jayant leap for its cricket history as they strongly bounced back to the track.

This time, the school cricket attracted more than 10 schools in the regular schools in the tournament and even got sponsorship from Coca-Cola! Though it worked informally, the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) officially started its journey in 1998 and became an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after its maiden participation in the ICC Trophy in 1997.

The twenty-first century appeared as the golden era for their cricket. They started participating in ICC tournaments like World Cup Qualifiers, World Cricket League, etc., and showed their passion for this game. Considering their zeal, Uganda is nicknamed “Cricket Cranes”

Road to their Historic T20 World Cup

Even after appearing several times, Uganda couldn’t reach the final stage of World Cups until 2024. In fact, the qualification process for the associate members is not an easy one.

When the top 8 teams from the T20 World Cup 2022 went directly to the final list, Bangladesh and Afghanistan qualified for their 9th and 10th T20 ranking. Besides, these 10 teams, USA and West Indies, were approved for hosting this year’s tournament. The remaining 8 teams among the 20 were selected based on performance in regional qualifying matches. Uganda along with Namibia was able to name themselves as qualified teams from the African region.

When Namibia won all 6 matches in the tournament, Uganda could manage 5 wins with only one loss. In this historic journey, Uganda defeated Zimbabwe, a comparatively strong fighter in Africa by 5 wickets, which is still unbelievable to many.

Defeating Kenya is also a remarkable event as Kenya once played in the semifinal stage of the World Cup 2003 and was believed to be capable of defeating any world-class team. However, they managed easy wins with Tanzania and Nigeria as well.

In their final match with Rwanda, they won by 9 wickets with 71 balls in hand and danced with the fans to celebrate the first-ever qualification in any format of Cricket World Cup! 

The Squad Announcement

It is said that Ugandan lions are unique because they don’t just stride in jungles, they can climb the trees also. Now, let’s see the herd of Ugandan lions joining the battle in the USA and West Indies!

Players Selected for Uganda’s T20 World Cup Squad

  1. Brian Masaba (c)
  2. Riazat Ali Shah (vc)
  3. Roger Mukasa
  4. Dinesh Nakrani
  5. Simon Ssesazi
  6. Cosmas Kyewuta
  7. Kenneth Waiswa
  8. Frank Nsubuga
  9. Henry Ssenyondo
  10. Robinson Obuya
  11. Fred Achelam
  12. Alpesh Ramjani
  13. Juma Miyaji
  14. Ronak Patel
  15. Bilal Hassun

Analysis of key players and their roles

Masaba, the senior member of the team with a decade of experience is named as the skipper and Riazat Ali Shah is with him as deputy. 43-year-old Frank Nsubuga is also in this team who first led Uganda in the 1997 ICC Trophy when he was just 17 years old! Samuel Walusimbi, another senior contender was the sole Ugandan player who took part in the first ever global for East Africa (the then name of Uganda) in 1975!

Besides these senior players, Alpesh Ramjani, another mentionable name added to the squad with no surprise as he was one of the nominees for 2023 ICC Men’s T20I cricketer of the Year! The crick experts are aware that this spin bowling allrounder can stun any big team in this World Cup. Ramjani and Henry Ssenyondo are also notable all-rounders added to this team who are recognized for keeping low economy rates in recent matches.

While having such great bowlers and all-rounders, Uganda has also aggressive T20 batters like Riazat Ali Shah and Dinesh Nakrani.  Let’s see how the 15 soldiers of the Uganda T20 squad amaze the 48 million people of Uganda as well as the rest of the world!

Challenges and Opportunities in This World Cup for Uganda

After ending the dreamy journey with the official announcement of qualification for T20 World Cup 2024, it’s time to focus on their performance on the world stage. The Ugandan lions are expected to fight until their last breath no matter how strong the opponent is!

Their journey will begin on June 4, 2024, by facing Afghanistan in their first match. They have teams like New Zealand and West Indies in this group. Apparently, it looks like they can beat Papua New Guinea only!

Getting down to the earth, it is an unavoidable fact that only 2 out of 5 teams will qualify for the Super Eight stage and therefore, the ultimate competition is supposed to be among New Zealand, West Indies, and Afghanistan as Papua New Guinea and Uganda are far behind in consideration of strength.

Uganda shouldn’t be discounted just yet. By aiming to beat Papua New Guinea and at least one of New Zealand, Afghanistan, or West Indies, they could still have a shot at advancing to the Super Eight, possibly even with just two wins, depending on Net Run Rate calculations.


The cricket fantasy of this 15-man squad backed by a nation’s belief and prayers may or may not astound the world. Yet, the journey that started at the beginning of last century, the struggle of the whole nation against fate has glorified the adventure of Ugandan Cricket. The achievement is not a mere success in sports but rather a learning for everyone on earth how a passionate group of people can beat all the obstacles and reach their dream.


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