The win hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s huge for Ugandan cricket – Brian Masaba


Uganda celebrated their victory over PNG with a lap around the ground.

Uganda celebrated their victory over PNG with a lap around the ground. ©Getty

Cricket fans in Uganda stayed up all night or woke up Thursday morning to the ecstatic discovery that their cricket team was making history all the way in Guyana. Ugandan captain Brian Masaba, who was there at the end to guide his team to a historic first World Cup win, was understandably unable to put into words what it meant to him and his teammates.

“Yes, this is obviously huge for Uganda. There’s no other way to put it. It’s huge for Ugandan cricket. Being at a World Cup is one thing, but getting a World Cup win is another thing entirely. it hasn’t sunk in (yet),” Masaba said, adding that they will probably have to sleep on it to fully understand what they have just accomplished.

“We’ll probably have to sleep on it before we understand the magnitude of what that means. But we have a passionate group of fans. I mean, these guys have traveled halfway around the world to be here, to witness this. ” I’m sure this is more than they expected when they left Uganda.

“So it was very special for us as a group to give them a win, these guys at home who stayed up all night – it’s now 6:30 in the morning in Uganda. So these guys stayed up to watch this and I hope that they feel as excited as we do. So yes, a very special feeling.”

Uganda not only won a World Cup match, but did so with their veteran performer Fran Nsubuga front and center. The 43-year-old leg-spinner bowled an exciting spell, including two wicket-maidens, and gave away just four runs in the other two. Masaba took his hat off to the senior player and his influence on the team’s victory.

“I watched Frank play growing up, so to see him do what he does on the biggest stage makes me very emotional. To witness that, I don’t quite have the words. I mean, he deserves it. We know how good he is, how good he has been over the years and the amount of work he has put in to stay so consistent.

“It’s unbelievable. So for him to come out, I’m not surprised he did what he did, but to do it at this stage, it’s very, very special. And I’m very, very happy for him.” Masaba said.

Uganda bounced back well after being humiliated by Afghanistan at the same venue two days ago, thanks to a collective bowling effort. Four of their bowlers, including Nsubuga, picked two wickets each and made steady progress to reduce PNG to a low, under-par total of 77.

“It’s certainly up there with one of our best (bowling performances). Everyone who was called on to do the job was right about it. They got it right. We bowled in partnerships, we picked up regular wickets, we kept it fun and tight. So everything you could ask from a bowling unit, they did,” Masaba opined.

Uganda had to huff and puff even in pursuit of the small total but finally got there in the 19th over and celebrated with a lap around the ground to acknowledge the fans who turned up there. It’s a moment they can savor over the next two days before getting back to work when they take on hosts West Indies on June 8.

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