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
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).
- Published in International Competitions