The boy’s schools cricket week edition of 2019 will see the return of Makerere College even though they got a wild card to the tournament as hosts. Makerere College is one of the four pioneer schools of the cricket week that started in 1939 alongside Kings College Budo, Busoga College Mwiri and Nyakasura School.
In the history of the school’s cricket week, Makerere College is better known for being the hosts of the annual tournament. The proximity of the school to most of the grounds used during the tournament makes them the ideal host plus the Wandegeya nightlife is also a thing for students to enjoy after a long day of standing in the sun.
However, everything is not lost in Makerere College being the hosts of the tournament, they have produced some of the best talents in Uganda Cricket. Maco Lutaaya, Innocent Ndawula, Fred Isabirye, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa, Emmanuel Nyakana, Daniel Ruyange, Madish Patel, Diana Musiime, and Lydia Bakumpe have all gone through Makerere College. The problems of being an urban school caught up with them as they could no longer access the University Oval that would help them keep the game alive in the school.
All in all, it is refreshing to have Makerere College back in the school’s cricket week, as long as they are playing they will get better.
Defending Champions and seventeen-time winners of the school’s cricket week Busoga College Mwiri are favorites. Despite losing some of the 2018 title-winning team and they are still a very capable side. The problem of Mwiri has been a failure to groom cricketers relying on students from other schools but since the turn of the year Mwiri has made a genuine effort to introduce the game to juniors which should serve them well in future. Ronald Opio will have to bear the bulk of most of the run-scoring with Collins Okwalinga tasked with taking wickets.
St Johns Mukono is another team that should be a threat, they have a big group of U19’s some of whom are in Nairobi for the Star Field Tournament. Their strength is their ability to rely on one another considering they have played together for a long time. They lost to Mwiri in the final last year and they will be hoping that this time they can go all the way.
Mukono SSS is another school that should at least make the last four, they will be led by Juma Miyagi and Simon Oketcho. Mukono has won the schools tournament on two previous occasions which makes them dangerous since they know the feeling of being a champion.
Nyakasura School lost a generation that should have won them the school’s cricket week but in Pascal Murungi and Joseph Baguma they have talent that can hurt any team. While in the past Nyakasura was always content with soda and T-shirts, the mindset changed when they started playing in the league three years ago they have shown the hunger to go all the way and they will be no pushovers.
Jinja SSS just like Nyakasura lost a lot of players after they finished their high school education but Coach Habib Mugalula has produced talent every year and he knows to get the best out of his troops despite their skill levels.
Masaka SSS has not quite dominated the boys game as they have done with the gilrs but they are closing the gap on their more historical rivals. The lack of competition in their region also inhibits their ability to test their skills before coming to Kampala but if coach Yusuf Nanga has done his homework he will be able to make the knockouts at least.
These days Ndejje SSS and Ntare School are never interested in winning the cricket week despite having a rich history. Both were very powerful cricket schools that produced very fine cricketers in the late 90s and early 2000’s but that history is lost on the current generation. The cricket week for them is just another school event where they will take anything they get.
Teso College will travel from the furthest place to take part in the cricket week, while they are limited by resources they never seem content with settling for a trip to Kampala. They give their best in every game and once the resource gap is bridged they will be contenders in a few years to come.
Kololo SSS previous winners of the school’s cricket week have fallen off the radar for a while, they have produced the talent but most of it has moved to other schools.
This year the tournament has grown to 14 schools that came through the respective Regional qualification process as follows - Ntare School and Nyakasura School (Western Region), Jinja Senior Secondary School, Busoga High School, Kira College Butiki and Busoga College Mwiri (Eastern Region), Masaka Senior Secondary School (South Western Region), Kings College Budo, Mukono Parents School, Kololo Senior Secondary School, Kyambogo College School, and St John High School (Central Region) and Teso College Aloet (Soroti Region). Makerere College School was granted a wild card entry this year as the host school.
Prepared by : Denis Musali