UGANDA men’s cricket team described the Takashinga Cricket Club facility as a model training venue for high quality cricket events following their 10-day stay in Highfield during their recent visit.
Now consisting of an internationally satisfied hosting cricket ground, the pavilion, nets and now the newly built Academy House, the facility now allows for players to just walk out of their rooms and into the ground.
Uganda left Harare for Namibia last week for the seven-team ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa in Windhoek and play Zimbabwe today. Only two teams will qualify for next year's T20 World Cup to be co-hosted by West Indies and USA. The teams competing in Namibia are Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the hosts.
Zimbabwe and Uganda square off this morning in Windhoek and both having lost to hosts, Namibia are desperate to win and make life easier for themselves heading into the home stretch.
Cricket Cranes captain Brian Masaba described their stay in Highfield as worth the experience.
“It’s been very nice. We have had a long standing relationship with Takashinga, they have come to Uganda a couple of times and they have taken good care of us over the last couple of days. With the new High Performance Centre facility, its top notch and it has made our stay here much better,” Masaba told StandardSport.
“The games have been good quality, Takashinga also pitches up and they love their cricket. The games have been so good so the preparations have been ideal for us, the weather has been good, the food was good, people are very welcoming so we absolutely enjoyed our stay in Zimbabwe and we will definitely come back again.”
Masaba spoke immensely about the relationship between Takashinga and Uganda Cricket and said it should live long.
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“As far as I remember, Takaz has come to Uganda twice but even before they came to Uganda, a Uganda side toured Zimbabwe; must have been in the 90s or 2000 so the relationship stretches back there. Takaz being a local based club it’s good for Zimbabwe Cricket but more importantly it’s good for Uganda Cricket because we need to help each other grow and they have opened their doors to us which is actually a very good thing to us.
“One of our guys, Kenny Waiswa came to play here last season; he spent a couple of months there, so it's opportunities like that which build that relationship between Uganda Cricket and Takaz in particular. It’s been good and hopefully we can see more people coming through and that relationship continuing to grow,” he said.
Uganda interim coach Jackson Ogwang said the tour brought with it a lot of positives with it having won all their four matches against Takashinga and one against the Zimbabwe Under 25.
“All I can say is thanks to Takashinga for giving us the opportunity and we have had quite interesting games with the Takashinga Cricket team and two with the Zim U25. I think we got a good challenge whatever we have been working on. I think the boys have done pretty well in terms of their bowling and batting combinations. I think in terms of the preparations getting the momentum going into the tournament, we have achieved something out of this tour,” Ogwang said.