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T20 World Cup: It has been an eye-opener for us, says captain of first-timers Uganda

15 Jun, 2024 23:10 IST|Sakshi Post

Lauderhill, June 15 (IANS) After Uganda’s campaign in the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup ended with a nine-wicket defeat to New Zealand, captain Brian Masaba said playing in the tournament for the first time has been an eye-opener for his side.

Uganda got their first T20 World Cup win over Papua New Guinea, serving a major delightful news for the side. But being dismissed for double-digit scores against Afghanistan, West Indies, and New Zealand indicated that Uganda has still got lots of things to improve if they are to be a top-flight team in the future.

“It's been very eye-opening for us as a team, playing at this level for the first time against some of the full-member teams. I say eye-opening because you realise the skill level is a bit different, the execution is very different and I mean these are guys that professional players that play all around the world so they're very, very good players.”

“As a player that's aspiring to get better there is no better lesson than that to carry back home because it just shows you how much more work you need to put in to be able to come back and compete favourably,” said Masaba to reporters after the match ended.

Asked about Uganda’s next big goal in international cricket, Masaba explained that their growth targets and hard work for it will be different after their maiden T20 World Cup appearance.

“It was important for us to make it to the World Cup for the first time because now our targets are different. We want to make sure we come back again and again and that's what you want as a team because then it shows that you're growing.”

“So going back home, the work won't stop if anything will work twice as hard to make sure that the next time, we come we're a better team and we can compete a bit more with some of the big boys. That's going to be the plan going forward not just for this playing group but for the whole cricket association back home because we need to expand our pool of players just to increase the level of competitiveness in the team. So it's going to be one huge effort for everyone involved.”

Masaba signed off by saying cricket in Uganda is heading in the right direction and acknowledged the fans back home for being awake at odd hours to see the team’s matches in the T20 World Cup.

“We're very grateful as a team, to have guys get behind you whenever you play away from home. It's something we don't take for granted. But more especially to the guys that travelled a long distance to be with us here to witness Uganda play at the World Cup for the first time. We say a massive thank you to them for getting behind the team - you guys saw the energy and the love that they have for the team.”

“It didn't matter whether we're playing well or not; they're always there. They always showed up for us so we're very grateful to them and there's also a huge number of fans back home- the timings were crazy for them. This game started at 3.30 in the morning for them. But guys stay up and follow every ball. So that's some commitment to this team. We say thank you again to them. We appreciate the love; we feel the support and hopefully, this team can continue to do well as appreciation to them.”

“It's still a niche sport back home the community is not as huge as say football or rugby but it's growing again because the team has done well, so the support and community are growing. A couple of years ago at most, you'd get two or three traveling fans, this time we've got a whole contingent.”

“Again it's small little wins that we look for - it's the positives that we can pick up and for me, that's a big sign that the game is growing and again the whole country got behind this team. So, for me, that's a good thing to see and I believe the game is headed in the right direction.”

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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