Omtex promise more support to Uganda Cricket Association

When Team Uganda made their first-ever trip to India in 2018, they knew nothing about Vijay Patel and his healthy-sport clothing company Omtex.
All they knew was Sanjay Farm’s Swetal Desai who had extended an Olive Branch to Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) through Roger Mukasa and Charles Waiswa whom he had seen playing their trade for the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) XI in 2017.
The brand of cricket displayed by the two senior Cricket Cranes players while in Andhra Pradesh bowled Swetal, who asked the duo to extend a follow-up invitation to UCA.
But when Uganda made its maiden tour they won over more lovers, because of the fearless brand of cricket played with verve and skill, including Vijay.
This relationship between the two (UCA and Omtex) yielded quick fruits with the clothing company designing the current national stripe that is predominantly yellow, a warm-up kit that primarily red and black track-suit with red-stripes.

Good partnership
As a thank you, Omtex gifted UCA, 70 pieces of travelling shirts that national teams that have used as official wear since.
On Uganda’s second visit this year, Uganda has benefitted more from the partnership with Omtex, who provided a set of jerseys, sun-hats and caps for the team to use while on tour. Vijay also offered a set of fielding gloves and a coach from his set-up to tutor the team and six Under 19 players that stayed back in India for extra 15 days (Feb 24 – March 12) in a boot camp. 
“I want to do more to help Uganda develop as a cricket nation,” said Vijay Patel who also gave designer camouflage jackets to Uganda’s best performers on the tour including 16-year-old Juma Miyagi (18 wickets) and batsman Arnold Otwani.
“Maybe in future we grow this partnership to a level where we give you kits bags, fielding kits and training jersey as well as other equipment.”
On a light note, Vijay finished as the best bowler in a Mumbai Corporate League (Agent Jack’s Cup) that his club partakes in.
The six U-19 players in India are scheduled to return just in time for a flight to the World Cup Qualifiers in Windhoek on March 15.

Arinaitwe ton lifts Uganda

Youngster Zephaniah Arinaitwe, playing with a stomach bug, threw caution to the wind and put on a batting masterstroke with a 51-ball ton of 107 runs to ensure Uganda started their three-match 50-over build-up for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III scheduled for Oman in Novermber on a winning note by six wickets.

The 17-year-old complained of stomach pains in the first innings as he kept wickets - for the second time on this tour - after captain of the day Brian Masaba had lost the toss and been asked to have a bowl.
Arinaitwe handed over the glove-work duties to left-hand opening batsman Simon Ssesazi for the rest of the innings as the hosts Kwazulu Natal Inland Academy set a commanding 269 for 4 in the allotted 50 overs at the Pietermaritzburg City Oval yesterday.

But Arinaitwe returned after the lunch break to open the innings and he batted in a ruthlessness manner - hitting everything in his range enroute to 16 boundaries and four sweetly timed sixes, and by the time he fell Uganda was just 119 runs away from victory at 151 for 2 in 16.3 overs.
“I love scoring quick,” Arinaitwe, in his ever cheerful manner told Daily Monitor. 
“Getting these centuries in quick time is what I would love to do for my country always. It gives me great joy to know that I can give my team a chance to win.” 

It was St John SS Mukono student’s sixth century of the season that has also seen him notch 197 off 66 balls last month at the Hayer StarField Tournament in Nairobi and a double-century in the Schools Cricket Week Qualifiers - a couple of months ago. 
Hamu Kayondo (78 not out off 78) and Riazat Ali Shah (53 off 39) got half centuries during the chase that saw Uganda keep the Academy Boys calm and it was fitting that captain Masaba (4* off 7 balls) got the winning runs. 
At the weekend, Uganda wrapped up its Africa T20 Cup campaign with two sensational victories against Western Province and eventual ‘Pool of Death’ winners Easterns in Group A. The team takes some rest today and will be back into the mix for another build up tomorrow.

By Innocent Ndawula

Reality check for Uganda

 From the highs of bossing the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier held at Gahanga Stadium, Rwanda in July, the Cricket Cranes have been given a reality check here in South Africa.

Uganda lost only twice in six games at the four-nation showpiece in Kigali enroute to qualifying for the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier next year then. Fast forward to Pietermaritzburg, Steve Tikolo’s boys had already lost twice from as many games after Day One of the expanded Africa T20 Cup, organised by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

In the 20-run loss to Kwazulu Natal Coastal, the Ugandans were guilty of throwing away momentum while chasing a manageable 163.

From 87 for 3 after 10 overs, Uganda collapsed to 117 for 6 in 16 overs thus managing 30 runs in 6 overs to ‘allow’ the hosts to bounce back into the match and forthwith win it.

In the afternoon game, Uganda suffered a huge 133-run loss to defending champions Kwazulu Natal Inland at the Pietermaritzburg Varsity Oval in what was a listless and insipid show. 
Teenager Zephaniah Arinaitwe (35 off 20), on his competitive debut, was one of positive talking points for Uganda as he exhibited flashes of brilliance in an opening partnership with captain Roger Mukasa (24 off 21) of 72 runs in 7 overs.

Uganda will look to end on a high against legendary South African Paul Adams’ Western Province at The Oval in Pietermaritzburg.

Friday results
KZN Coastal 163/5 Uganda 143/8
Uganda lost by 20 runs
KZN Inland 227/2 Uganda 94/10
Uganda lost by 133 runs

By Innocent Ndawula

Global star Tarrus Riley new Uganda Cricket Ambassador

For American-born Jamaican Tarrus Riley, cricket flows in his blood. Even before he could say anything, the Reggae Artiste was visibly excited to catch some action as Uganda’s African champions played out in a duel dubbed ‘Tarrus Riley Cricket Carnival’ at Lugogo yesterday.
His attention was undivided at the boundary as he got animated between the beautiful shots played and animated wicket celebrations by the girls. And Riley welcomed the appointment as Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)’s new global brand ambassador.
“It is part of me to support young guys and give them a chance and inspiration,” Riley answered when asked on his unrelenting role to lend a hand to several charitable causes across the globe.
“Music and sports rhyme along together. It is a good feeling being in Uganda. Watching the girls play makes me feel joy and for the girls to know someone like me is cheering for them makes them work harder to achieve success. Uganda is just like home and I am having the time of my life.”
Jazz Safari’s Tshaka Mayanja, whose brand sponsors the Men and Women’s National League for the last five years, said Jazz Safari was intent on promoting talent with a special attachment to women’s cricket. 
“We are going to be here for long time in the future and Tarrus (Riley), too.

He is willing to lend a hand in whichever way he can. Uganda cricket can bank on him as they continue to strive for success. We urge you to give back in equal measure by turning up in droves for the Swangz Avenue Concert of The Year here on Friday,” said Mayanja.
UCA Board Women’s Representative Mary Makumbi handed over to the 39-year-old superstar with a Lady Cricket Cranes cap and jersey emblazoned with No.1 for his new role. And then captain Kevin Awino and assistant skipper Janet Mbabazi presented to him the two trophies Uganda won in United Arab Emirates and Windhoek, Namibia, where they won the African title last year.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Nigeria, Tanzania join Uganda in ICC Africa Under-19 Division One

Olayinka Olaleye was the star, as Nigeria sealed an unbeaten run in the ICC Under 19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifier tournament in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
The opening batsman struck a majestic 110, as he and Samuel Mba 62 put on 148 for the first wicket, and pull his side clear in the final. That alliance was enough to put Nigeria out of sight, as Sierra Leone were overwhelmed by the opening stand, which lasted 34.1 overs. Beyond that opening partnership, only Segun Ogundipe made a meaningful contribution, as Nigeria’s total petered out to 242 for nine, assisted by 21 extras. In response, Sierra Leone served up their worst batting performance of the tournament. They were bundled out for just 105, with skipper George Ngegba fighting a lone battle with 31. 
In the battle for the last qualifying spot in Division 1, Tanzania got the better of Mozambique, posting a testing 215 all out. At 89 for five, they had to depend on their middle-order to make the play, and 15 year-old Dhrumit Mehta and Kartik Sayal stepped up. Nigeria and Tanzania now join Uganda, Kenya and Namibia in Africa Division One, who will play their qualifier for the 2010 ICC U-19 World Cup early next year. 
Nigeria’s qualification in particular was a reward for their early preparations that saw them camp in Uganda for 10 days despite losing the series 4-1.

DAY THREE RESULTS - SCW

Mukono Parents 141/ 7 beat Ndejje 76/5 
Kololo SS 89/4 lost to Rwanda 90/7 
Teso College 31/6 lost to Nyakasura112/10
Teso College 44/10 lost to BC Mwiri 48/1 
St John High 138/8 beat BC Mwiri 104/10
Nyakasura 104/5 beat St John 128/10

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & AGENCIES     

T20 : Uganda Qualifies

 Affable all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah was adjudged Most Valuable Player (MVP) as Uganda defeated Kenya by seven wickets at Gahanga Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on July 14 to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Twenty20 Cup scheduled for May next year.

Nicknamed Rizu, the 20-year-old who plies his trade for Aziz Damani Cricket Club in the Jazz Safari National League, was easily the standout player with an unbeaten seven-ball blitz of 20 runs as Uganda avenged their first round loss to Kenya. Overall, Rizu finished among the top four batsmen, top six bowlers and equalled the best fielders’ count with four catches.

He managed 247 runs with a highest score of 96 not out, averaging a staggering 123.5 with a strike rate of 226. And then with the ball, he notched 7 wickets at an average of 14 per scalp and economy of 7.5 from 13 overs to finish among the top six bowlers.

But it wasn’t a one-man show as Uganda grabbed one of the two slots at stake for the East African region to the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier scheduled for May 2019.

Chart Toppers
Dinesh Nakrani, 26, with a table-topping aggregate of 320 runs, at an average of 80 per innings and top score of 102 not out in the seven-wicket win over Kenya on Saturday - a feat achieved with seven balls to spare - deserves all the plaudits.

Leg-break bowler Irfan Afridi, too, was among the three-man MVP shortlist with 13 wickets and 34 runs. 
Champions Kenya and Uganda joined Nigeria and Ghana to the African showpiece with two more countries expected to make the grade from Africa Zone C (Southern Africa) later this year. The top from the continental showpiece will make it to the Global Qualifer whose top six will reach the World Cup in Australia 2020.

ICC 20 Africa ‘B’ Qualifier
Result - Final Game
Kenya 188/5 Uganda 189/3
Uganda won by 7 wickets
FINAL TABLE STANDINGS 
TEAM M W L PTS NRR
KEN 6 5 1 10 2.924
UGA 6 4 2 8 2.725
TAN 6 3 3 6 -0.429
RWA 6 0 6 0 -4.887


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Uganda finishes sixth in World Cup qualifier

Team Uganda return home from Netherlands with a few smiles having avoided the wooden spoon on their debut at the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier.

The East African nation will count many positives from their first time at the global stage of women’s cricket more importantly with the group stage win over Thailand and play-off triumph over hosts Netherlands last week.

Now the Lady Cricket Cranes may have avoided the tail slot but they will feel disappointed by their failure to beat Thailand for the second time in the fifth-place play-off.

Uganda returned home empty handed losing the tournament Plate Cup by 34 runs to Bangkok at VRA Ground in Amstelveen on Saturday.

Coaches Francis Othieno and Grace Mutyagaba had stuck to familiar faces but the bowling unit failed to bottle the Thai top-order which in turn left a load for the second innings.

It is Thailand that had gifted Uganda their first international T20 win during this tournament but knowing the danger in Immaculate Nakisuyi and Gertrude Candiru, the Asians turned on the mojo early.

After Sornnarin Tippoch had asked Uganda to field first, Consy Aweko had Naruemol Chaiwai (4 off 14) caught by Janet Mbabazi to have the scoreboard reading 12-1 in 3.4 overs.

But Uganda’s pressure valve let loose as Nattakan Chantam (44 off 41) and Nattaya Boochatham (38 off 41) shared 52 runs for the second wicket.

The latter then took the score to 105-3 in 18.2 overs after sharing 42 runs with wicket-keeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai (17 off 15) and Thailand coasted to 113-7.

Two ducks from the first three batters graced Uganda’s chase and the by the time Stephannie Nampiina’s 30-ball 29* came through in the mid-order, the battle was long gone.

Uganda finished sixth ahead of UAE and Netherlands while champions Bangladesh and Ireland qualified for the World Cup slated for November in West Indies.

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Uganda aim to reclaim Kwibuka Peace Trophy

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.

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