- Published in General News
PAST MEN’S LEAGUE WINNERS
2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2011: Patidar Samaj
KAMPALA. In 2016, Tornado Bee became the first club to win four straight championships in the Jazz Safari National Cricket League.
However, their run was ended by Aziz Damani who won the title last year on the first time of asking. Damani was officially crowned as the 2017 champions during the League Awards’ ceremony at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.
It only felt a dream come true for Damani Club CEO Siva Koti Reddy who started the team in 2015. “We are very happy,” he said after lifting the trophy with captain Ghulam Hunzai on a rather cold evening after their UCA Super Cup match with 2017 Division Two kings Premier.
On the same evening, Kutchi Tigers’ Raghvani Shantilal was crowned as Player of Series thanks to his best batsman figures of 554 runs in 13 innings. Each year, the trophy cabinet grown bigger for Damani. Koti’s interest grew in the game after their franchise won the 2015 Night Cricket Championship.
They won the 2016 Kishore Pabari Memorial T20 Cup, 2016 Division Two and the 2017 Super Cup, meaning their topflight success is no fluke. Also, the ladies’ side Aziz Damani-Masaka SS also lifted the Women’s Division Two championship.
But Damani now wants to erase Tornado Bee’s records. “Definitely, the target is to win the Championship for both men and women,” Siva stated after confirming three new signings.
“Tornado Bee won four in a row but we want to win the next four.”
If anything, the signings of budding wicket-keeper Fred Achelam and left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa as well as in-form spinner Henry Ssenyondo from Challengers imply the huge intent by the yellow brigade.
Achelam replaces Arnold Otwani who left for Charity Trust Fund, was the best wicket-keeper last season with 20 dismissals.
KAMPALA. A busy schedule looms for the Cricket Cranes and Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) have opted to take the bull by its horns in preparation for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division IV in Malaysia as well as the Africa Twenty20 Cup in Rwanda.
To get the preparations started, a provisional squad of 17 will tour Qatar and India for invaluable match practice and exposure as they try to execute what they have been doing in training, thanks to UCA’s partnership with Cricket Sanjay Farm’s Swetal Desai.
On the backdrop of Roger Mukasa and Charles Waiswa’s involvement with the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Select Team that toured India last year, Desai was overwhelmingly impressed by the pair’s talent and pledged to support the development of cricket in Uganda.
UCA chairman Bashir Ansasiira travelled to India for a special meeting with Desai on December 26 last year and the two high caliber personalities fixed the tour for next month (February 17-23).
Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma, who alongside CEO Justine Ligyalingi and Operations Manager Martin Ondeko finalised the tour arrangements, said the purpose of this tour was not only to test the team’s potential.
“We are indebted to Cricket Sanjay Farm and Desai who are going to facilitate a bigger portion of our budget,” said Kavuma.
“The purpose of the tour is to also unleash cricketing skills in the remote part of South Gujarat and it will also hopefully open new dimensions for Uganda cricket.”
Before heading to India, coach Steve Tikolo and his men will camp in Qatar for a series of T20 and 50-over rubbers against the national side that is littered with classy players from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
SQUAD TO QATAR, INDIA
Batsmen: Roger Mukasa, Hamu Kayondo, Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Simon Ssesaazi, Shahzad Kamal, Lloyd Patternot
All Rounders: Deus Muhumuza, Brian Masaba, Frank Nsubuga, Kenneth Waiswa, Irfan Afridi Riazat Shah
Wicket-Keeper: Fred Achelam
Spinner: Henry Ssenyondo
Pace Bowlers/Seamers: Charles Waiswa, Trevor Bukenya, Bilal Hassan
Reserves: Emmanuel Isaneez, Steven Wabwose.
By INNOCENT NDAWULA
WHAT’S ON SCHEDULE
What: National Cricket Academy
When: January 21-31
Venue: Lugogo Cricket Oval
Numbers: 25 participants
KAMPALA. Two days into the first-ever Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) National Boys Cricket Academy, the coaches in charge Steve Tikolo, Franco Otieno and David Obuya are overwhelmed by the talent exhibited thus far.
Lugogo Cricket Oval has been a bee-hive of activity with the 25 players in the academy making the field a beautiful spectacle alongside the men and women’s national sides – the Cricket Cranes and Lady Cricket Cranes respectively.
“Every time I see you Ugandans playing cricket, I see a group of talented individuals,” said Obuya, who also worked with Baby Cricket Cranes (national boys U-19 side) during the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Nairobi, Kenya last May.
“We are going to work on several aspects of their game to help them become better. Obviously talent is not their problem. But execution of shots, bowling to plans and better game reading. We want to empower them with a better understanding of the game and etiquette.”
UCA Development Officer Henry Okecho highlighted the importance of the training and also revealed that the ‘respected’ Kenyan tacticians were the most suitable to run this core programme for the association.
“It is a 10-day residential programme with sessions in the morning (9am to 12pm) and afternoon (3 to 6pm),” disclosed Okecho.
“In my opinion it is long overdue as we had planned it for December 2017. There is no doubt that this programme will help us build our stocks for both the U-19 and National teams. Our plan is to set up an U-23 program that would take up most of these players and help prepare them for international competition. This program also acts as a bridge between junior and senior cricket.”
Notable players invited for the International Cricket Council (ICC), Bankstown Cricket Club (Australia) and the National Council of Sports (NCS) sponsored academy are national team trainees Steven Wabwose and Frank Akankwasa.
PLAYERS IN NATIONAL ACADEMY
Soroti: Emma Twijukye, Aaron Okwi, Pius Oyena,
Jinja: Eddy Agaba, Steven Wabwose, Calvin Watuwa,
Robinson Obuya, Joel Elelu, Marvin Kitamirike, Pius Oluka. Kampala: Perry Wazombe, Cosmas Kyewuta, Juma Miyaji, Ashraf Ssenkubuge, Frank Akankwasa, Simon Okecho, Gerald Mubiru, Ronald Opio, Ramanthan Ochimi, Fort Portal: Pascal Murungi, Samuel Ntimba, Isaac Ategeka, Alfred Alijuna, Moses Ahura Masaka: Ronald Lutaaya
By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
With over 30 schools currently taking part in the Girls’ Schools Cricket Week Qualifiers, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) have boosted further their preparations ahead of the tourney.
UCA Development Manager Henry Okecho and Operations Manager Martin Ondeko literally empowered 40 girls’ schools by giving them brand new cricket equipment sets to each.
“We encourage you not to misuse the equipment. We want you to use it well to enhance the skills of your students so that they can be able to compete better,” said Okecho, who also thanked Bankstown Cricket Club in Australia for continuing to give UCA good equipment for 13 years to-date, during the hand over at Lugogo.
Each of the schools that was represented by their games and cricket masters received four pairs of batting pads, four pairs of batting gloves, six helmets, four thigh guards, one pair of wicket-keeping gloves and one pair of wicket-keeping pads. The best 12 schools from the qualifiers will take part in the Girls Cricket Week from April 29 to May 4.
Kololo, Gayaza High, K. C Budo, Ndejje, Seeta High, Mukono Parents, Kyambogo College,City High, Nalinya Lwantale, Green Hill Academy, St Lawrence Sonde, Masaka, Bwala, Kako, Blessed Sacrament, Exodus, St Gerald, Lords Meade, Jinja SSS, Busoga High, St James, Good Heart, Busedde, Pmm Girls, Honest Hill, Olila High, Halcony High, Soroti Mun, Light SSS, Kyebambe, Nyakasura School, Kasese SSS, Kilembe SSS, Mt Rwenzori, St Theresa, Mt Rwenzori, Bwera SSS, Mutwanyana High, Rock High, Tororo Town College.
By INNOCENT NDAWULA
Mukesh Shukla’s 11th hour inclusion onto the coveted list of candidates to take-over as chairman of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has had tongues wagging in the fraternity.
An earlier deadline of February 10 had ruled out the former vice chairman but after his club Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) ‘nominated’ him, the businessman took advantage of the ‘non-binding deadline’ ahead of the elective assembly due tomorrow at Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo.
Shukla’s late entry raised the number of contestants to the top job to three with Nile’s Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira and Tornado’s Paul Luswata Nsibuuka already in the fray whereas Eric Kamara (Wanderers) and incumbent Jeremy Kibuukamusoke (Tornado Bee) are vying for UCA secretary.
After complying with the National Council of Sports (NCS) sports regulations of 2014, UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi revealed that other posts have been quashed and the mandate will be with the new chairman to appoint working committee heads including but not restricted to Finance, Disciplinary, Marketing and Games.
Outgoing chairman Richard Mwami, despite being eligible for another term, says he will not be standing pushing each camp to seize the occasion.
“It is about bringing fundamental change and not just a change of guards,” said Shukla, also the vice chairman of NRM Entrepreneurs League in Kampala Central.
“There is also a basic area of concern which is financial transparency. We also have one ground and yet we should be with five from the strategic planning I did as vice chairman in 2009 under Dr Kato Sebbaale.”
But for Alvin Bagaya, who is from Ansasira’s camp, it is about giving the power of elections back to the people. “Many things have happened the wrong way lately,” said Bagaya.
“But if Badu is elected then it will be all systems go again. His plan is not out this world and if you have read his manifesto, it is very practical. His passion for the game is also unrivalled and the electorate seems to favour our candidate.”
Robert Kisubi, who is the campaigning manager of Nsibuuka, however believes many of the younger guys are rushing to takeover and advises that they should wait for their time.
“Our club always votes for the best candidate who is by a coincidence a Tornado this year,” said Kisubi.
“He understands the game well, captained Uganda and is from a cricketing family of the Luswatas. From his world as a banker to financial consultant, Nsibuuka’s corporate governance will be key. He is his own man, the ambassador our game needs.”
Candidates for chairman
Ansasira ‘Badu’ Bashir - Nile CC,
Paul Luswata Nsibuuka – Tornaddo
Mukesh Shukla – KICC
Candidates for secretary
Eric Kamara – Wanderers
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke – Tornado Bee
* Each of the 8 voting clubs will have a board member
By Innocent Ndawula