KICC one of the eight traditional clubs in Ugandan cricket quietly goes about their business and only the larger than life character of their captain reminds you of their ambition.
However, the 2017 season didnt start according to plan and after two opening season losses to Strikers and Challengers, KICC dropped from league favorites to fighting for their Div 1 survival in quick time.
The unexpected losses had taken the team despite some major scoops in the transfer market, even with the loss of Zephaniah Arinaitwe and Siraje Nsubuga to rivals Strikers they landed the most improved cricketer of 2017 Irfan Afridi.
Afridi was added to the tried and tested duo of former national team captain Davis Karashani and the veteran Frank Nsubuga to form one of the deadliest bowling attacks in the league.
KICC led by Hanumant Katkar who revived the side after a two year limbo, the team progressed from Div 2 as winners in 2010 and then assembling a competitive side in the top division.
Although they have enjoyed most of their success in the shortest format of the game what matters most for KICC are the league bragging rights. A smart business man Hanumant has made sure he invests wisely finding enough resources to pay for experienced players like Frank Nsubuga and Davis Karashani but also mixing it up with some fine Asian players with youngsters.
The acquisition of Afridi was clear sign of intent from KICC who didn’t want to be content with just being one of the teams in the league but the champions. Even though the defending champions Aziz Damani had set the bar too high in terms of resources, they still remained in touching distance from their competition.
The poor start though made this venture seemingly impossible, the two losses to sides they should have defeated meant that they needed to win all their remaining games in the 1st round against direct rivals.
A board room decision went in their favour after Ceylon Lions failed to register their team in time meant they gained maximum points from a game they had lost on the field. This slice of luck gave them the kick up the ass they needed, and they went on a four match winning streak till they ran into defending champions Aziz Damani.
At the end of round one KICC was no way near the league title but scrapping in mid table as Kutchi Tigers and Aziz Damani pulled away from the rest.
The absence of team captain Hanumant Kathkar due to work and UCA board commitments at the start of the second round dealt a huge blow to the title chances of the team as they lost their first three games.
If mid table was bad KICC was now threatened by relegation three games into the second round. Priorities changed from winning the league to staying up and KICC needed at least two wins to make sure their place in the top flight is safe.
A return by Hanumant Kathkar changed the fortunes of the side and instead of two wins they picked up three wins on the bounce and in the process they not only saved their place in the league but also finished among the top four sides.
An underwhelming season for a team like KICC, for any other side a top four finish seems a decent return but good isn’t enough when best is an option. Team Captain Hanumant Kathkar knows they could have done better this season had they been more consistent with their performances. None the less he is still satisfied especially when a lot of doubters thought they would be relegated.
Even though results were not going well, KICC blessed with a strong support cast comprising of Mukesh Sukla (who spared some time to play a few games), Dr Sudhri Ruparelia, Dr Ranjiv Tailor, Mr. Kiran Bhimjiyani, Mr. Bharat Chandarana, Mr. Jitu, Mr. Raj Pabari, Mr. Basil, Mr. Amit, Mr. Bhavin Pabari who have all been instrumental in ensuring things turn around for the team.
KICC a traditional giant and a dominant force especially in the early and late 90s is clearly not far from a league title, they have been close for some time now and even if Aziz Damani has set a very high standard at least KICC has the resources to match their ambition.