Uganda captain Davis Arinaitwe Karashani believes his side will have home advantage to bank on in the upcoming ICC Africa Division 2 T20 Championship.
Africa Division 1 is to be staged in Entebbe, Uganda from 9-15 July. Also featuring in the tournament are Zimbabwe A, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and Ghana.
"Home advantage is certainly expected to play a huge part as not just the players but the entire nation has been starved of top class cricket. It will be great to have the entire nation right behind the players on our home soil. It will also be a chance for Uganda to show that we can be great hosts. For the players it will be a chance to redeem ourselves after a disastrous WCL Div 2 in Dubai," said Karashani .
The hosts have had to make a few adjustments to preparations for the tournament, but Karashani believes that the team will be ready for action.
"Our preparations have been quite rushed considering the adjustment we have had to make from the longer version to ODI to T20. But the team has taken a new direction by bringing in a few young lads who we feel are more tailor made for the T20 format and are good to go," reckoned Karashani.
Even though as hosts Uganda might be under pressure, Karashani backs the side to cause a few surprises.
"We carry the least pressure of being favourites, but have the biggest element in us to cause a surprise. But it's T20 and everybody has got a huge chance of making something happen so quickly. Everybody is a couple of good games away from a global qualifier," said Karashani.
The biggest threat for Uganda at the tournament according to Karashani will be Namibia and Kenya.
"It will be good to see some other African countries come through and will be great to come up against all the side not to forget the usual suspects in Namibia and Kenya," added Karashani.
Uganda's two new players to watch out for are Muhumuza "Baby" Deus and Henry Senyondo, says Karashani. The entire squad now gets together to realise the dream of making it to the ICC World T20 2012.
"It is reason for most of us to get up and play cricket. It may just be that our hard work will pay off and we will find ourselves in a senior tournament (like World T20) which does not seem so far away with this format," opined Karashani.
For this very reason Karashani is thankful to the ICC for providing a structured qualifying pathway for World T20 2012.
"It gives teams from all parts a chance to actively participate and we have a chance to chase a World Cup dream. Hopefully in time to come number of teams may be increased further. This will allow various teams to showcase not just skills but also culture and tradition that comes along from variety of countries," concluded Karashani.