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