Africa Cricket Club working to keep machine well-oiled for topflight return next season

ACC lineup before their match against Mwiri during which Odeng (L) snared six wickets to inspire the oldest club in Uganda to victory. Photo by JB SSENKUBUGE ACC lineup before their match against Mwiri during which Odeng (L) snared six wickets to inspire the oldest club in Uganda to victory. Photo by JB SSENKUBUGE

The genesis of cricket in Uganda was centred around the European and Asian communities that often gathered to play for fun and leisure in the early 1900s.

It was not until the early 1950s that some locals got fully engaged in the gentleman’s sport under Africa Cricket Club (ACC). Today, ACC is the oldest club.

On the flip side, ACC has been stuck in the National Men’s 50-Over Division Two League tier since relegation in 2011. “We were not playing responsibly at the time,” ACC senior player Sylvester Rokani recalls how demotion engulfed them.

For five straight years, ACC has jumped high but failed to get hold of the promotion key. Why? 
“Our belief is growing players and enjoying game but often, our upcoming talent has been snatched by big money teams as soon as they peak,” explained Rokani.

On Sunday, ACC continued their perfect start to the season making it two wins in as many matches with a 21-run victory over Premier at Budo Oval. That was preceded by the opening 24-run win over Mwiri at Entebbe on February 7. Clearly, there is something that has changed about the 2006 and 2007 top-flight champions.

“The team spirit and morale is excellent,” Rokani noted. “We secured a few sponsorships, signed some really important players which adds oomph.”

Unlike before, ACC has now got a kit sponsor in Case Medical Centre, whose proprietor Dr. Kato Sebbaale doubles as the club chairman. The club also generates funds from club members, who contribute annual subscription fees of Shs300,000 each.

The club has also successfully serenaded Kintu brothers Michael and Aggrey as well as Timothy Erumuka from Jinja-based Rounders and young guns like Gaddafi Jjunju from partner school King’s College Budo.

Michael’s knock of 25 off 35 and Emmanuel Odeng’s half-ton of 55 runs off 83 helped ACC set 194 in 49.2 overs. 
Then left-arm Timothy Erumuka single-handedly blew away Premier’s with figures of 7 for 39. Pace bowlers could be the thing for ACC this season since Odeng was also crucial with a fine spell of 6 for 23 in the win over Mwiri. With such developments in place, many will expect ACC returns to the big time next year.

ABOUT ACC: Started: 1950 Captain: Richard Lwamafa Twitter Handle: @AfricaACC

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