- Published in General News
Team Uganda have calmly settled into the Arabian Peninsula of Oman ahead of their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.
With Uganda set to play its opening match on Friday (November 9), Uganda Cricket Association chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira worked his magic to send the Cricket Cranes for at least four days of acclimatization here in Muscat.
All seems to be going according to plan for the team based at the five-star City Seasons Hotel as the team continues with preparation and adapting programme.
“We are grateful to Mr Khimji Kanak the director of KR Group here in Oman who has hosted and ensured our desire to acclimatize becomes a reality,” said Jackson Kavuma, the Cricket Cranes Team Manager.
“He has taken care of a large chunk of our logistics to ensure that we have a decent place to put our heads and also access training facilities. This preparation is priceless as the team embarks on a tough but possible mission.”
The Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.
The season is winter here but doesn’t differ too much from that of Uganda with the conditions hot and air staying dry. The team will continue to adapt before taking on Denmark and USA on two back-to-back days (Friday and Saturday).
Acclimatizing. ItThe Cricket Cranes arrived in Muscat in the wee-hours of Monday morning, had a cardio session including gym, swimming and stretching at the hotel’s rooftop pool and did shake off the jet-lag proper yesterday with fully-fledged training session at OC Turf for two hours.
By Innocent Ndawula
Olila High School bolstered their chances for a maiden crown in the Jazz Safari National Women’s League after they beat direct rivals Pioneer by five wickets in Entebbe on Saturday.
Oila, T20 champions a year ago, are courting league success after they wrapped up their five matches of the season with a sounding win to keep top of the six-team log.
“It was good,” Olila’s team manager Felix Musana said after Olila inflicted first season defeat on Pioneer. “We executed as per our game plan and we are close enough to the title,” he said.
Pioneer, champions in 2015, had won all their opening three matches but fell in Entebbe and could mathematically be out of the title race after a rather below-par batting show.
With Olila opting to field after winning the toss, Pioneer struggled to match the task at hand with skipper Barbara Mukankusi making 26 runs off 78 balls.
As wickets fell under Joyce Mary Apio’s (5/23) command, Kenyan Quentoor Abel held Pioneer’s innings with an unbeaten knock of 33 runs off 46 before they were bowled out for 125 runs in 41.4 overs.
Now Olila smartly chased the target with Esther Ilukor (29 off 27) and Sarah Akiteng (23 off 48) batting into their own favour. Abel had put up some resistance (2/30) with the ball but Olila was home at 126-5 in 28.1 overs.
Olila finished their season top with 23 points from five outings and Pioneer (16) in second can’t reach that target even if they win their last game.
Notwithstanding Jinja’s Claire Mukashamba’s 52* off 68, Damani relied on a half-ton from Margaret Banja (52 off 71) and an all-round show from Immaculate Nakisuyi (20 off 12 and 3/15) to take their tally to 12 points after three games.
It means Damani must win their remaining two matches with bonus points to be champions or elsewhere, Olila’s tally is enough.
The Cricket Cranes – Uganda’s national men cricket team – were this morning involved in action but off the oval as they indulged in some Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
They made time for the disadvantaged with a visit to Mulago Hospital where they were welcomed with faces of gloom and doom as parents and guardians attended to their patients.
But it was at Jeliffe Children’s Ward 16 that the Cricket Cranes got a reality check when they saw hundreds of children of varying ages, some struggling for their lives and others only waiting for divine intervention to heal.
Mulago Hospital’s Customer Relations Officer Shaban Ssebuliba asked Cricket Cranes opening bowler Bilal Hassun to lead the prayers.
As the players and team management comforted the sick, many couldn’t help but break down. The sad tales from the parents and guardians left others thoughtful but made them stronger and work with resolve as they thoroughly cleaned and polished not one but five wards in the Children Zone.
They also mopped the verandah of the 1945 establishment, swept the compound and wrapped it up by putting smiles on their hosts’ faces as they handed over an assortment of play toys, clothes, scholastic materials and home-care items.
Shaban Ssebuliba Customer Relations Officer of Mulago said; “What you have done is unbelievable. You have comforted us and left us with smiles. The lives of these sick children are going to be even better. Thanks for the love and time given to us. You guys are real Cricket Cranes and I know u will fly. We will follow you and support you from now on.”
There was also a moment of selfies at the facility for the Endiro Coffee-sponsored team that flies out to Muscat, Oman tomorrow (November 4) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.
The Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma said; “We are privileged to be the first national team to do this here. We are very emotional right now. We hope the time we have shared with them will give them hope and belief. We will continue to pray for them.”
More than anything that the Cricket Cranes did, they gave hope to the patients and left a fresh aura of awe-inspiring belief.
By Innocent Ndawula
A script never opened, read and one never thought of.
That’s not even enough to describe Aziz Damani Cricket Club’s successful yet historic title defence in the Jazz Safari National League.
On Sunday, Damani scored a rare 100 percent after winning all 14 league matches with a last seven-wicket triumph over Tornado Bee in Entebbe to bag their second topflight men’s club cricket title in as many years. Rare!
It is the first time a team has won all matches and it will become ordinary if another team achieves this landmark. To be honest, not any time soon.
And by the way, it is also strange to imagine that the title race six years was sorted by a bye for four runs when Wanderers’ quest faded through then captain Denis Musali’s gloves from Dennis Tabby to the ropes against Tornado.
Now Tabby at Damani, they wrapped up this title with four matches to go and the cigarettes were out of the packets and whiskey was already flowing down the glasses. “It may look simple,” Damani’s CEO Siva Koti said after the win over Tornado Bee in Entebbe. “... but it was not all easy,” he said.
Winning may seem difficult but maintaining it is even more complex. The results of this season may not tell it all for Damani.
“We had to work hard to retain this trophy. There were two matches that were particularly not easy; Kutchi Tigers and Ceylon Lions,” Koti said.
And granted, Damani family deserved the barbecue and chicken roasting evening in Entebbe on Sunday whose pictures circulated on WhatsApp statuses for players like pace man Charles Waiswa.
But other matches came way easier than expected for example Tornado Bee on Sunday. With four straight titles coming off a 2013-2016 reign, now they were far from that as they were bowled out by Damani for 87 runs in 40 overs.
Tornado Bee lynchpin Roger Mukasa made 22 runs off 19 balls while Nicholas Kebba had 21 off 80 as national coach Steve Tikolo picked figures of 4/15 in 8 overs.
With the bat, Damani didn’t need their top-order batsmen. Instead, they showed strength and limitless boundaries in class as pace bowler Bilal Hassun top-scored with a half-ton of 61 runs off 38 balls to coast home.
It is a dominance that three-year-old Damani want to expand to other competitions. The side is eyeing the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup title which bowled off on Sunday. “We don’t want this to appear as a fluke or one-off. We desire to beat the challenge again in the T20s,” Koti added.
CAST OF LEAGUE WINNERS
2018: Aziz Damani
2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2011: Patidar Samaj
Uganda are setting out on a mission to enhance their reputation as real African giants.
Yesterday, a 16-man contingent led by coach Habibu Mugalula and manager Harriet Nanziri departed for Kigali in attempt to reclaim the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s Twenty20 Tournament title.
But unlike other teams, Uganda have thrown their young girls - The Schools Select XI - into the deep end against national teams of Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya to fight for honours. Mugalula takes the best players selected from the just-concluded Pepsi Girls Schools’ Cricket Week won by his Jinja SS last month.
“This is another chance for the youngsters to grow as we have done for their seniors,” acting Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) CEO Martin Ondeko said before the team was flagged off by National Council of Sports General Secretary David Katende in Lugogo on the cold morning. And the intent is clear for June 7-10 event at the Gahanga Stadium. “We are going to bring back the trophy,” said assistant captain Immaculate Nakisuyi after receiving the flag.
Nakisuyi is selected alongside Jinja SS teammates captain Rita Musamali and Stephanie Nampiina.
The trio is also part of the senior team preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in Netherlands next month.