Season Five Night Cricket has more prize money, new twists

Brace yourselves, members of the cricket fraternity! The pick of the tournaments and only Night Cricket event – The Kampala Boys Sports Cricket Club (KBSC) Premier League – Season 5 is here. 
The annual reloaded showpiece was officially launched on Thursday night at the Cooper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo infront of a full house of the 16 teams participating teams, officials, organisers and members of the media. The previous seasons have showed that there is no lightweight in this tape-ball cricket format that will be played over 16 overs (preliminary phase) and 20 overs (knockouts) from next Friday (July 28) to September 4 at the home of cricket in Uganda – Lugogo Oval.

Despite the envisaged stiff competition, the franchises will not need any additional motivation to outlast defending champions Pak Stallions after the organisers announced that the stakes were higher this year with the winning team taking home Shs15m and runners up pocketing Shs8m – an increment from Shs10m and 7.5m respectively last season.

“We set the standard pretty high from the previous editions. We want to take it a notch higher this season. We want to keep everyone excited and involved,” said KBSC chairman Tejas, who also disclosed that there would be a tournament within the competition with the teams that don’t make it to the semifinals competing in a Super Over contest.
UCA’s Martin Ondeko lauded KBSC for being consistent in their endeavour to promote cricket and promised that the association would continue to support such projects.

GROUPS FOR SEASON 5
Group A 
1. Pak Stallions, 2. Cosmas Warriors, 3. Jain Samaj , 4.Haandi XI, 5. Jiya XI, 6.Yuva XI, 7. Abacus, 8. Lahore Lions. 
Group B
1. Afridi XI, 2. Hunza Warriors, 3. Metro Tyres, 4. Keshwala XI, 5. Keshwala Boys, 6. Azam XI, 7. Aziz Damani, 8. Lohana XI.

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Kampala Boys Sports Club hope Night Cricket will elevate standards

When they started out in 2013, it was all about fun. Winning was secondary as everyone in the fraternity was left in daze with how much excitement the floodlights had brought to the oval.

But before they came to Lugogo Cricket Ground, the lights had been an everyday occurrence for the Asian community at Patidar Samaj ground behind UMA Showground in Lugogo.

While there, they played on concrete as Team Wines & Spirits reigned supreme. But the notion by the organisers, Kampala Boys Sports Club, to move the annual competition to the home of cricket in Uganda (Lugogo) in 2014 has proved to be a masterstroke.

Although the passion of players and organisers has remained boundless, the competition has gradually hit new levels with each passing edition of the KBSC Premier League.

“We have put rules that add excitement and make everyone involved,” KBSC chairman Tejas Patel told Daily Monitor. “Before, some teams used to play with only Asians but now each of the franchises must field at least two Ugandan players in each game they play. We have set out to develop Ugandan talent as well.”

In 2013, the winners pocketed Shs5m and the runner’s consolation prize was Shs3m but that rose to Shs7.5m and Shs6m respectively last year. “It will even be bigger this year. At stake for the winner is Shs10m and Shs7.5m for the runner-up. We keep improving the prize money to increase competition. Now we need help from other corporate companies.”

Organising secretary Nirav Patel believes hard ball cricket will be played on these floodlights next season. “Last season, we had eight poles and the lights were 30-feet off the ground. Now they’re 70-feet in the air and we’ve replaced the poles with four permanent towers. Next year we want to bring six towers and put the lights at 100-feet. We want the very best.”

The tournament is played on a 16-over basis per innings but improved to 20 overs from the quarterfinals for this season that ends on August 21.

 

KBSC NIGHT CRICKET QUARTERS 
Yuva 91/10 G, Lions 94/4
Abacus 127/10 Damani 128/6

 

FORMER WINNERS 
2013: Wines & Spirits
2014: Wines & Spirits
2015: Aziz Damani

KBSC full committee:
Tejas Patel (chairman), Chirag Dave, Ketan Shukla, Daxesh Patel (assistant treasurer), Divyang Patel (secretary), Ghanshyam Patel (secretary), Hitesh Patel (treasurer), Bharat Patel, Nirav Patel (organizing sec), Ravi Patel, Kalpesh Patel, Sameer Thakkur
Sponsors:
Main sponsor - Aziz Damani, co-sponsors - AMI Africa, TransAfrica Assurance, Britannia Allied Ind Ltd, Krishna Construction Co. Ltd, Alliance Insurance, Jubilee Assurance, Jyoti Motors, Grand Thornton, Shumuk Group, Haandi Restaurant, Tej Uganda Ltd & Uganda Cricket Association.

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