On a sunny morning at the main cricket oval in Kampala, members of the Ugandan national men's team are undergoing rigorous training with their new head coach, preparing for their first ever Twenty20 World Cup. This milestone event is a significant achievement for a nation where cricket competes with football as the most popular sport. Their opponents include New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, and Papua New Guinea, and the matches will be held in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago as part of the tournament jointly hosted by the United States and West Indies from June 2 to June 29.

32-year-old Cranes captain Brian Masaba expressed the team's high intensity preparations, emphasizing the importance of representing the country positively on this global platform. Despite being a newcomer to the World Cup as a nation, Uganda previously participated in the 1975 ODI World Cup as part of a combined East Africa team. Cricket's roots in the region trace back to the late 19th century when it was introduced by British colonial settlers, gaining popularity among the Indian laborers brought in to work on East African railways.

For 21-year-old Juma Miyagi, who hails from the Kampala slum of Naguru, Uganda's participation in the World Cup signifies hope for both Ugandan cricket and his personal international career aspirations. As the oldest player in the squad at 43, veteran cricketer Frank Nsubuga also echoes the sentiment of realizing a long-held dream by qualifying for the World Cup.

The new head coach, Indian former first-class cricketer Abhay Sharma, brings his extensive global experience to the team as they focus on enhancing skill sets and mindset in preparation for the tournament. Despite heightened expectations, Coach Sharma remains realistic about the team's prospects as they endeavor to make their mark in global cricket.