Tikolo pleased with avalanche of match winners in Cricket Cranes squad

There were a few murmurs arising from coach Steve Tikolo’s final 14-man side that will represent hosts Uganda at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament from May 23-31.
Tikolo admitted the difficulty in sieving out the required numbers from a pool of 20. Of course, he had worked with nearly 40 players over the past eight months in a bid to find the perfect blend ahead of the nation’s first international engagement in 20 months.

The recent 4-0 whitewash over Kenya in the Easter Series left not only fans but also Tikolo a rather more pleased figure. “Our cricket has grown in leaps and bounds in the last eight months,” he noted.

The Kenyan legend stated the team’s greatest positive from the Series has been in strengthening the depth of the squad. “We played as a unit. It was not a one-man show,” Tikolo said while highlighting the variety of match winners against the eastern neighbours.

“Whichever player is asked to go out and do the job for the team, they put their hands. Previously, we used to depend on one or two players (Roger Mukasa and Arthur Kyobe) in the batting department. Right now, we have about six or seven players we can depend on.”

Tikolo is vindicated by the figures as Kamal Shahzad has grown to maintain a slot in the top order as backed up by his 107 runs off 114 balls in 4 innings against Kenya.

“Before we used to depend on Davis (Karashani), Frank (Nsubuga) and Charles Waiswa in the bowling department but that has changed too. There is good competition in the team so it ensures the guys will not sit on their laurels and think they have automatic slots.” Tikolo added.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Henry Ssenyondo (7/79 & 2 maidens in 23 overs) and right-arm medium pacer Jonathan Ssebanja (5/83 & 19.3 overs) got bigger dividends than the trio in four matches against Kenya.

The final selection

Team Uganda
Davis Karashani (captain), Brian Masaba (vice-captain), Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo, Roger Mukasa, Arnold Otwani, Kamal Shahzad, Frank Nsubuga, Henry Ssenyondo, Charles Waiswa, Deus Muhumuza, Jonathan Ssebanja, Irfan Sahibzada and Lawrence Ssematimba
Reserves
Naeem Bardai, Lloyd Paternott, Emmanuel Isaneez and David Wabwire

Best bastmen

East cricket series statistics
Roger Mukasa (111 off 140 in 4 innings)
Kamal Shahzad (107 off 114 in 4)
Arthur Kyobe (84 off 96 in 4)
Hamu Kayondo (74 off 129 in 4)
Emmanuel Isaneez (56 off 88 in 2)
Deus Muhumuza (53 off 64 in 2)
Derrick Bakunzi (49 off 69 in 1)

Best bowlers

East cricket series statistics
Henry Ssenyondo 
(7/79 & 2 maidens in 23 overs)
Jonathan Ssebanja 
(5/83 & 19.3 overs)
Davis Karashani 
(4/95 & 3 maidens in 29 overs)
Deus Muhumuza 
(3/27) in 7.4 overs)
David Wabwire 
(3/70 in 10 overs)
Roger Mukasa 
(2/3 & 2 maidens in 4 overs) 
Frank Nsubuga 
(2/39 & 3 maidens in 14 overs)

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Tikolo leaves door open for Cricket Cranes hopefuls

Coach Steve Tikolo issued a ‘come convince me’ statement to the national team hopefuls when he named the two sides (Uganda XI and Uganda Select) that will represent the country in the Quadrangular Series that bowl off this weekend.

Uganda is preparing for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Division III World Cricket League (WCL) that will be hosted here and Tikolo showed his desire to ensure every impressive player gets a chance to stake his claim during the build-up series that will be hosted at Lugogo and Kyambogo Oval.

The released squads to be captain by Davis Karashani (Uganda XI) and Brian Masaba (Uganda Select) boast of some exciting talent that had previously not been considered in the provisional 31-man squad.

The notables includes include Challengers all-rounder Daniel Ruyange, Damani’s left-hander Shahzad Kamal, lively paceman Trevor Bukenya, Nile wicket-keeper Ashraf Ssenkubuge plus Charity siblings Simon Ssesaazi and Lawrence Ssempijja.

“This is a clear indicator that I have not closed the door on anyone,” said Tikolo after yesterday’s morning training session in the middle at Lugogo.
“I have been monitoring these players’ performances in the domestic competitions.

And whoever shows that they can deliver, will get his chance. I am looking at the big one – Project 2017.” But there were also some omissions from the squads including contracted Emmanuel Taban and Charity’s Singh brothers Varinder and Narinder.
“Taban has not performed to the standards I expected him as a left-hander and there are also other discipline issues involved.

For Varinder, he has not made himself available as he says he has a back problem whereas Narinder has not been convincing in his role as a batsman. But they must continue to work and improve,” added the 45-year-old Kenyan legend.

Takashinga’s contingent will be captained by international Forseter Mutizwa whereas bowling all-rounder Emmanuel Bundi will lead the Kenya side in the 10-day tournament.

TEAM NEWS
Uganda XI
Davis Karashani (captain), Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo, Zephaniah Arinaitwe, Roger Mukasa, Shahzad Kamal, Lawrence Ssematimba, Deus Muhumuza, Frank Nsubuga, Charles Waiswa, Jonathan Ssebanja, Henry Ssenyondo, Ashraf Ssenkubuge, Lawrence Ssempijja, Emmanuel Hasahya Officials: Steve Tikolo (coach), Jackson Ogwang (assistant), Andrew Meya (manager).

Uganda Select
Brian Masaba (captain), Arnold Otwani, Abdallah Lubega, Aneef Shah, Ivan Thawithemwira, Daniel Ruyange, Derrick Bakunzi, Irfan Afridi, Fred Achellam, Emmanuel Isaneez, Abraham Oduch, Siraje Nsubuga, Simon Ssesaazi, Trevor Bukenya Officials: Michael Ndiko (coach), Emmanuel Isaneez (assistant), Alvin Bagaya (manager)

Takasahinga XI (Zimbabwe)
Natsai M’Shanwe, Forster Mutizwa, Tinashe Kanhukamwe, Roy Kaia, Tapiwa Mufudza, Charles Kunje, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Maruma, Innocent Kaia, Wellington Masakadza, Westone Masakadza, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Tymcen Maruma Officials: Eric Chauluka, Tafadzwa Madoro, Emmanuel Dube, Percival Sizara

Kenya XI
Emmanuel Bundi (captain), Pushpak Keri, Kavi Dosaja, Karan Patel, Peterson Kamau, Martin Mworia, Joseph Owino, Abraham Vadada, Adarsh Sawjani, Thomas K’Ochieng, Raul Seedhar, Aveet Desai, Aman Gandhi, Subham Patel Officials: Jimmy Kamande (coach), David Asiji (manager)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nairobi tourney chance for Tikolo to bond with Cricket Cranes

Since he took over as coach, Steve Tikolo, hasn’t had an opportunity to test his players in a highly competitive environment. The Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi gives a perfect chance. Nairobi tourney chance for Tikolo to bond with Cricket Cranes

Davis Karashani, Lawrence Ssematimba, Frank Nsubuga, Jonathan Ssebanja, Roger Mukasa, Arthur Kyobe, Charles Waiswa and Steve Tikolo are not new names on the international cricket scene.

Karashani is such a darling of many that even when he went into retirement prompted by a knee injury, many in the cricket circles continuously referred to him as skipper. 
The sextet of Ssematimba, Nsubuga, Waiswa, Ssebanja, Mukasa and Kyobe has been in and out of the national set-up, enjoying success and failure in equal measure.

From the days of Tom Tikolo in 2005 to the first stint of his younger sibling Steve as batting coach for the Cricket Cranes in 2011, the Tikolos hold a special place in the hearts of Ugandans; each of them is addressed as coach, irrespective of the dugout they are commanding.

Coach Tikolo and his players have been starved of international action and they feel only victory at the Four-Nation Quadrangular Series bowling off tomorrow in Nairobi will strengthen their bond.

“It is not about me,” Karashani repetitively told journalists at the team’s flag ceremony for the event involving unknown quantities Qatar, Saudi Arabia and host-nation Kenya, when he was bombarded with questions about his return from retirement at Lugogo yesterday.

“These guys (team) want to make up for the past near-misses and this tournament presents them a chance to show what they can do after two years of no action. They are starved and it is understandable that they are pumped up for this tournament.”

Coach Tikolo was speaking about team cohesion, too, ahead of the return to his motherland. “It is a chance for us to work on team camaraderie and composition,” said the 45-year-old Kenyan legend.
“Such build-up tournaments will help us gel.

We are looking to play a couple of more games against Zimbabwe’s Takashinga as we gear up for the Dicvision III ICC World Cricket League early next year.” Uganda opens its campaign against Saudi Arabia in the One-Day International (ODI) Series at Nairobi Gymkhana Oval tomorrow.

UGANDA’S FIXTURES
Four-Nation ODI Series
Sept.20: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 21: vs. Qatar
Sept. 23: vs. Kenya
Sept. 24: Final
Four-Nation T20 Series
Sept. 26: vs. Saudi Arabia
Sept. 27: vs. Qatar
Sept. 28: vs. Kenya

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I am excited and anxious - Tikolo

 Kenyan legend Steve Tikolo described Uganda as his second home and Lugogo as its backyard on his second coming as Cricket Cranes coach.
Tikolo was in Uganda, Lugogo in particular, for 10 months in 2012/13 as an assistant/batting coach during a fairytale reign that saw Uganda win the T20 African Premier League (APL) in 2012 and also seamlessly sailed through to the World Cricket League (WCL) Division II after dominating proceedings in Bermuda 2013.

The 44-year-old also has fond memories of Lugogo having stroked a superb ton of 149 at the home of cricket in Uganda as Kenya (32 points) batted Uganda (15 points) out of the Intercontinental Cup in 2005 and he meant every bit of the phrase about Lugogo and Uganda. “I am not a stranger in Uganda,” Tikolo spotting a straight face told journalists at a function held to unveil a galaxy of coaches appointed by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) to spearhead the ambitious Project 2016/17.
“I have been here several times. This is my second home and I will be comfortable. I am excited and anxious in a positive way.”

Challenge ahead
Tikolo also spoke about the challenge ahead. “Our immediate target is to qualify back to Division II. The training is open to all players who believe they have what it takes to play for Uganda. I will also monitor the league and see whoever is performing. Then in July, I will name a provisional squad of 30, he said.
“I am determined to achieve the targets before me and I believe the boys have it in them to bounce back. I am a man of few words and my work will speak for itself.”
Michael Ndiko will serve as Tikolo’s assistant on a one-year renewable contract whereas UCA development manager Henry Okecho takes over the mantle as both U-23 and U-19 national men’s teams head coach. His assistants are Emmanuel Isaneez and Jackson Ogwang.

“The two teams at my disposal are very significant to the future of the game in Uganda. They bring together players that are closely aged and both teams will offer platforms for the players to express themselves before playing for the national team. The U-23s will sort of be like our Uganda A side.”
John Tumusiime and Emmanuel Kamya are in charge of the national U-15 side whereas celebrated Habibu Mugalula is the new tutor of the National U-19 girls’ team in what promises to be both an exciting and crucial period for the game in Uganda.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Legend Tikolo back as Cricket Cranes coach

The search for a new gaffer by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is as good as over.

Initiated in Nairobi soon after being sacked by Cricket Kenya, brokered in Zimbabwe where he was Team Manager for the Kenya Ladies at the just-concluded ICC Africa Women World T20 Qualifier, legendary Steve Tikolo flies into town today to put pen to paper and take over as Cricket Cranes coach on a one-year renewable contract.

Daily Monitor has learnt that UCA zeroed down on Tikolo after a vetting process that started in April involving a handful of renowned tacticians from India, South Africa, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe among others.

This will not be Tikolo’s first time to tutor Uganda after he sat in the dugout as Martin Suji’s assistant/batting coach when the Cricket Cranes won the Pepsi T20 African Premier League (APL) in 2012 and sailed through seamlessly to earn ICC World Cricket League Division II qualification in Bermuda 2013.

He also steered local franchise Rwenzori Warriors to the defunct East Africa Cricket League title after beating Kenya Kongonis during his tenure. But being head coach this time round, the 44-year-old has his plate full with a bumper schedule awaiting him.

After meeting the UCA Board on Thursday, Tikolo is expected to meet all the players vying for national team slots before embarking on a tedious project of scouting for new talent across the country. He will then select a provisional squad basing on the players’ performances in the league and net sessions he will have conducted in Jinja and Lugogo.

Uganda is eager to rub shoulders with the ‘big boys’ again when the ICC WCL Division III – a tournament UCA has already bid to host, takes center stage in January 2017.

Selected former coaches 
Aug 2014- Jan 2015: Peter Kirsten 
April 2014–Aug 2014: Davis Turinawe
July 2013 – Feb 2014: Johan Rudolph
May 2013 – July 2013: Henry Okecho

Tikolo at a glance

Name: Stephen Ogonji Tikolo (44 years old)
Place: Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality: Kenyan
Nickname: Gunnzie
Batting style: Right-handed
Bowling style: Right-arm off spin
Role: Batting all-rounder
ODI debut: February 18, 1996 vs India
Last ODI: Jan 23, 2014 vs. Netherlands 
Teams coached: Kenya, Kenya U-19, Kenya Women, Uganda, Rwenzori Warriors (Uganda), Southern Rocks (Zimbabwe).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to this RSS feed
Best gambling websites website