Historic T20 debuts for African countries

Pink cricket ball (Getty Images)
Pink cricket ball (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced that Uganda will replace Ghana in the expanded 2018/19 Africa T20 Cup. 

Ghana declined the invitation to the tournament, which is set to take place in September with the preliminary round on September 14-16 followed by the finals' weekend on September 23-24, due to logistical reasons. 

Uganda (‘The Cranes’) will also be making their debut alongside another West African team, Nigeria, in the competition.

The East African side will be utilising this opportunity as part of their preparation for the road to the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament scheduled in November this year. 

The Cranes national team will substitute Ghana in Pool A, joining KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal.

The exciting T20 action will take place in 4 coastal venues in Pietermaritzburg, Oudtshoorn, East London and Paarl featuring 12 CSA Affiliates, 3 Associate Members and 5 ICC Africa teams taking place over two thrilling weekends of T20 cricket. 

"It is disappointing that Ghana had to pull out of the competition," says Justine Ligyalingi, ICC Africa Development Officer.

"As it was going to be their debut at this tournament, it would have been a great experience for their national team, but we are glad to confirm the involvement of another debutant in Uganda. 

"This will provide the ideal opportunity for them to test themselves against some of the best young cricketers on the continent, particularly ahead of their appearance in the upcoming WCL Division Three tournament in November. 

"Uganda will be ready to compete, and we are excited as we wait for the highly anticipated competition to get underway."

As part of their preparations for the WCL Division three competition, both Kenya and Uganda will remain in South Africa following the conclusion of the Africa T20 Cup to play 50-over warm-up matches against KwaZulu-Natal Inland and the South African Academy respectively. 

The updated four Africa T20 pools are as listed below: 

Pool A - Pietermaritzburg: KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Easterns, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Uganda and Western Province

Pool B – Oudtshoorn: South Western Districts, Free State, Gauteng, Northerns and Zimbabwe

Pool C – East London: Border, Eastern Province, Kenya, Mpumalanga and Namibia

Pool D – Paarl: Boland, Limpopo, Nigeria, Northern Cape and North West

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