Tue. May 28th, 2024

The Uganda Cricket Association has appointed Abhay Sharma as the new head coach of the men’s national team.

The 54-year-old Indian has signed a three-year deal and will lead the Cricket Cranes at this year’s T20 World Cup.

The East Africans will make their debut at the tournament, which is being held in the United States and West Indies.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to work with a bunch of talented cricketers,” he said.

“Having been in Uganda for just a couple of days, it already feels like my second home. The people here are lovely, and the setting is reminiscent of India.”

Sharma, a wicketkeeper-batsman, was never capped by India but played first-class cricket in his homeland for Delhi and Railways.

Since retiring he has coached Railways and had stints as a fielding coach with India A and India Under-19s.

Uganda secured a maiden T20 World Cup spot after finishing second in African qualification last November.

The Cricket Cranes will face West Indies, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea in Group C at the tournament, which begins on 1 June.

The top two from each of the four groups will qualify for the Super 8s, which lead to the semi-finals and then the final scheduled for 29 June in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Uganda are 22nd in the International Cricket Council’s men’s T20 rankings, but Sharma believes his new charges have the potential to cause upsets.

“What I have seen in the data is that we have lost a couple of opportunities in the field,” he said.

“And yet even after missing out on those chances, we still qualified for the World Cup.

“Imagine how much better we can perform if we address these lapses. With enhanced game awareness and mental fortitude, we can compete with the world’s best teams on any given day.”

By Joy

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