The Uganda national cricket team, nicknamed the Cricket Cranes, is the team that represents the country of Uganda in international cricket matches. The team is organised by the Uganda Cricket Association, which has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1998.
Uganda first fielded an international team as early as 1914, against the East Africa Protectorate, but only began competing regularly from the early 1950s, playing frequent series against regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania (then Tanganyika). From 1966, Uganda contributed players to a combined East African team, which was reconstituted as East and Central Africa in 1989. The country's first ICC tournament played in its own right was the 2001 ICC Trophy in Canada. Uganda has played in every subsequent edition of that tournament (now called simply the World Cup Qualifier), but has never qualified for a Cricket World Cup. Since the establishment of the World Cricket League in 2007 (which also forms part of the World Cup qualification process), Uganda has alternated between Division Two and Division Three, most recently placing fifth at the 2015 Division Two event (and consequently being relegated to 2017 Division Three). The team has twice participated in the World Twenty20 Qualifier, in 2012 and 2013, but finished in the bottom four teams on both occasions.
Uganda combined with their regional rivals Kenya and Tanzania to form the East Africa team. The first known match for this team was against a South African "Non-Europeans" team captained by Basil D'Oliveira in September 1958 in Nairobi, with the visitors winning by seven wickets. East Africa became an associate member of the ICC in 1966 and India toured the following year, winning a match against Uganda by 6 wickets before a first-class match against East Africa in Kampala which India won by 8 wickets.
East Africa toured England in 1972 and the Marylebone Cricket Club played a first-class match against East Africa in January 1974, winning by 237 runs. The following year, East Africa played in the 1975 Cricket World Cup in England. After various warm-up games, including a 3 wicket win against Glamorgan, they played New Zealand, India and England in the World Cup itself, losing all three matches. The World Cup was followed by a first-class match against Sri Lanka at the County Ground, Taunton, which the Sri Lankans won by 115 runs. East Africa played in the ICC Trophies of 1979, 1982 and 1986, without qualifying for the World Cup from any of them.
Uganda continued playing their regular matches against Kenya and Tanzania, despite Kenya leaving the East Africa combination in and the triangular tournament became a quadrangular tournament in 1966 when Zambia joined in. From then until the tournament's end in 1980, Uganda won the tournament just once.
The East Africa team left the ICC in 1989 and was replaced by the East and Central Africa team the same year. This new team was a combination of Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and they took part in the ICC Trophy for the first time in 1990, also taking part in 1994, 1997 and 2001.
Uganda left the East and Central Africa combination and became an associate member of the ICC in their own right in 1998. Their first international tournament was the 2001 ICC Trophy. After winning all five of their first round games, they lost a play-off match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the right to enter the second stage of the tournament. The following year, they finished third in their group in the Africa Cup.
In 2004, Uganda played their first first-class matches in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya and Namibia, winning against Namibia. In August that year, they finished second to Namibia in the Africa Cricket Association Championships in Zambia. This qualified them for the following years ICC Trophy, in which they finished in twelfth and last place after losing to Papua New Guinea in their final play-off match. Earlier in the year, they again played against Namibia and Kenya in the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup, losing both games.
In January 2007, Uganda faced Bermuda and Canada as those two teams prepared for Division One of the World Cricket League in Nairobi. This also served as preparation for Uganda's visit to Darwin, Australia, for Division Three of the same tournament. Uganda won their Group B games against the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, and Tanzania before beating Papua New Guinea in the semi-final and Argentina in the tournament final. Winning Division Three earned Uganda a spot in the ICC's High Performance Program, and promotion to Division Two.
Uganda took part in a four-team Twenty20 tournament before the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, playing games against Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh in Nairobi. As expected, they lost against Pakistan and Bangladesh before upsetting African rivals Kenya with a two-wicket win.
Their next matches were two one-day games against Bermuda, also in Nairobi, in October 2007. They surprised their more experienced rivals, going down by just seven runs after Nandikishore Patel scored a half-century, before winning the second match by 43 runs with Joel Olwenyi scoring a half-century of his own.
In November 2007, Uganda travelled to Windhoek, Namibia to participate in the WCL Division Two tournament. Uganda lost their group matches against; Denmark, Namibia, Oman, and the UAE but did defeat Argentina in their group match and also their positional playoff to finish fifth. Uganda's bottom two finish saw them relegated to Division Three.
In January 2009, Uganda won four of their five group matches and edged Papua New Guinea on run rate, to finish second in the ICC Division 3 competition in Buenos Aires, Argentina and earn the final place at the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier.
In April 2009, Uganda travelled to South Africa for the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier. Despite a first up win against Namibia, Uganda lost their remaining four Group A matches and failed to make the Super Eight stage, thus ending their chance to qualify for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Uganda finished 10th overall after beating Denmark but losing to Bermuda in positional playoff matches, and thus was relegated to 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three.1975 to 1987: See East African cricket team
1992 to 1999: See East and Central African cricket team
2003: Did not qualify
2007: Did not qualify
2011: Did not qualify
2015: Did not qualify
2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier: 13th place
2004: First round
2005: First round
2006: Did not participate
2007–08: Did not participate
2007 Division Three: Champions – promoted
2007 Division Two: 5th place – relegated
2007 Division Three: 2nd place – promoted
2011 Division Two: 5th place – relegated
2013 Division Three: 2nd place – qualify for WCQ
2014 Division Three: 2nd place – promoted
2015 Division Two: 5th place – relegated
2017 Division Three: qualified
1979 to 1986: See East African cricket team
1990 to 1997: See East and Central African cricket team
2001: 10th place
2005: 12th place
2009: 10th place
2014: 10th place