All To Play For At Kwibuka As Lady Cricket Cranes Eye Ranking Points

By Innocent Ndawula

The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) gave its partisan fraternity a glimpse into the future by sending out a new-look, young, talented and energetic senior national women’s side – The Lady Cricket Cranes for the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda.

Uganda’s side is without doubt an exciting mix; a reward to the six outstanding players that stood out in the Girls Cricket Week (GCW) in May and eight of the seasoned campaigners that are fresh from International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe that are looked at as a unit that will form the core of the Lady Cricket Cranes side for a long time in future.

Like the Victoria Tri-Series held in Uganda, this tournament, to be played at the beautiful Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, will have full Twenty20 International status as it will feature national sides as per ICC’s mandate to have all T20 games featuring nations attain that ranking.

The Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali has no less than seven players from the highly-rated Soroti Cricket Academy stable.

Defending champions and three-time winners Kenya have bowed out at 11th hour due to financial constraints whereas Zambia never confirmed when first contacted but the tournament will not be mourning their absence with two debutants – Mali from West Africa & Tanzania from East Africa – in the fold.

Second bite at cherry 

Lively all-rounder Rita Musamali of Aziz Damani gets a second bite at the cherry as captain of the side for the nine-day event that runs from June 16th to 24 in Kigali to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that claimed over one million lives in 100 days. In the absence of seniors; Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko, Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Naomi Kayondo and Rachael Ntono, who were ‘ignored’ by the selectors in the favour of using the meet as an initiation ground for a new breed of players to kick-start their international careers, captain Musamali will look to club-mates Immaculate Nakisuyi, also the vice-captain and Stephanie Nampiina when the going gets tough.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko will continue his gelling process with the side and he will be ably assisted by Ivan Kakande, fresh from coaching stint in Sri Lanka. Eight of the players on tour are from the Soroti Cricket Academy (SCA) stable whose head coach is Kakande. Four are actually from Olila High School won scooped their maiden GCW title after edging their friendly-foes Light SS of Soroti by six runs in the epic final played at Lugogo Oval on May 2.

“The selection of several youngsters is to look at the nearby future, two years to be specific, since that is the period when we expect the next Women World Cup Qualifiers to take place. We want to be ready by then. The more experienced players are still in our sights but the younger ones need more game time and guidance hence their domination of this time round,” said coach Ndiko.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko and Ivan Kakande's Lady Cricket Cranes side will be looking to win only their third Kwibuka title. The tournament was initiated by the Rwanda Cricket Association in 2014.

The Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Tournament will be played on a two round-robin format with each country facing each other twice. The team with most points will be crowned 2019 champions.

CAST OF KWIBUKA T20 CHAMPIONS
2018: Kenya

2017: Kenya

2016: Uganda

2015: Kenya

2014: Uganda

ITINERARY FOR KWIBUKA CRICKET FOR PEACE WOMEN’S T20 TOURNAMENT
June 16: Arrival of Teams
June 17: Visit to Memorial Site, Training, Captains’ & Managers’ Meeting
June 18-23: Match Days
June 24: Team Departures

TOURNAMENT FIXTURES
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
9.30am: Tanzania vs. Uganda
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Mali 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda                                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, June 20, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania

Friday, June 21, 2019
9.30am: Rwanda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Tanzania vs. Uganda

Saturday, June 22, 2019
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda

Sunday, June 23, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania 
NB: All Games Will Be Played At Gahanga International Cricket Stadium

UGANDA LADY CRICKET CRANES SQUAD
The Players
Rita Musamali (Capt) - Aziz Damani, Immaculate Nakisuyi (V. Capt) – Aziz Damani, Damalie Busingye - Olila High, Joyce Mary Apio – Olila High, Stephanie Nampiina – Aziz Damani, Maria Kagoya Nyende – Aziz Damani, Evelyn Ayipo – Soroti Challengers, Sarah Walaza – Jinja SSS, Esther Iluko – Olila HS, Proscovia Alako – Olila HS, Mildred Anyigo – Olila HS, Susan Kakai – Jinja SSS, Gloria Obukor – Olila HS, Christine Anayo – Light SSS, Soroti
The Reserves
Shubaiker Naigaga – Jinja SSS & Janet Nakiranda – Victoria HS
The Officials
Coach: Michael Grace Ndiko Assistant Coach: Ivan Kakande Physiotherapist: Habiba Kulsum Anguyo Manager: Lwiza Nabulwala

Holders Challengers hunted as Unimoni National T20 Cup ends

After two months of action, the Unimoni National Twenty20 Cup is left with just three matches to climax. 
Who will win it? That’s the question that three-peat chasing Challengers, two-time finalists KICC, no-nonsense Aziz Damani and fiery Ceylon Lions must answer when the quartet negotiates each other’s hurdle today. 
The semifinal line-up is structured in a way that seasoned T20 contenders KICC and Lions want to wrestle serial Cup winners Challengers and Aziz Damani respectively.

Defending champions Challengers are looking no further than a third successive title and a record fourth T20 gong in five years.
To test their mettle first is KICC this morning whom they meet at Lugogo in a repeat of the 2014 final.

“Our batsmen are on form,” KICC skipper Hanumant Katkar chest-thumped after they defeated Strikers in the quarterfinals last weekend.
Wassim Butt and Suleman Sharif have held their bats high while spinning trio of Davis Karashani, Frank Nsubuga and Irfan Afridi is capable wreaking havoc like the latter did with figures of 7 for 15 seven days ago. “How we play on the day is what matters most,” Katkar offered. 
But Challengers will be a tougher nut to crack for KICC having added Zimbabwean imports Timycen Maruma and Shingirai Masakadza to their arsenal.

Arthur Kyobe, Hamu Kayondo and Kamal Shahzad know what to do when on the crease irrespective of the amount of incentives that Challengers’ proprietor Vaheed Mohammed has in stock for them.“We want three in a row but we want our cricket to speak first,” said Kyobe, leaving his opinion door so ajar during the interview. But they can only earn Vaheed’s prize if they beat KICC and then win the final in Kyambogo against the victor between Damani and Lions.

Beating Damani
Now this is a repeat of the November 24 group stage encounter where 2012 runners-up Lions beat Siva Koti’s Damani by 11 runs. But things have drastically changed since Damani’s returned from international duty in Oman.
Similarly, Lions’ boss Ruwan Jayaratne has not been shy, adding Sri Lankan top youngster batsman Malindu Maduraga and Kenyan Alex Obanda to his ranks.
Obanda made a 38-ball 102 ton while Maduranga struck 42 off 24 as they beat Jinja SS last Sunday and the boss seemed satisfied.
“We are bringing two more Kenyans and definitely going for the trophy,” Jayaratne, also the team’s opener, stated.

But Damani has won every trophy on offer bar this one. And this being a fourth semifinal in as many years, they want to go big. “We just have a few things to get better from the Tornado Bee (quarterfinal) game and we’ll be on track,” Damani’s all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah stated.
Mir Afzal and Saud Islam have furnished the batting of Damani’s immovable wall way much this season.
In the end, fireworks in Lugogo and a classic in Kyambogo, lights out! The climax is certainly a must watch.

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Jungle fight in Lugogo as Lions, Tigers face-off in Jazz Safari League

Having endured a torrid outing at the ICC World Cricket League Division IV event in Malaysia, Simon Ssesaazi reminded everyone of his batting potential last weekend.

He was ruthless against fellow Cricket Cranes’ players Riazat Ali and brother Henry Ssenyondo enroute to a 77-run-a-ball half-ton but it was not enough as his club Ceylon Lions lost to holders Aziz Damani by 95 runs in Lugogo. That third loss in four Jazz Safari National League matches could be vividly seen in Ssesaazi’s eyes after producing the best batting show on the day.

“We need to act,” the left-hand opener lamented ahead of today’s match against Kutchi Tigers at the same venue. 
“We need to just work on a few improvements, avoid giving away cheap wickets then build partnerships,” he said of his fellow top-order batsmen Eddie Agaba, Arnold Otwan, Varinder Singh, Lawrence Ssempijja and Jonathan Ssebanja.

But Tigers lost their last tie to KICC after an unmatchable display by Davis Karashani (74 off 70 and 3/31 in 8.1 overs) a fortnight ago in Lugogo.

So as Lions bid to roar, Tigers will equally want to be counted in the Lugogo jungle with the backing of Indian trio of Aezaz Kothariya, Devendra Poriya and Sachin Mevada.
Arup Kerai is another weapon for Alphesh Hirani’s team that will looking for a fourth win in six outings.

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Ssenyondo rallies batsmen as Uganda go 7-up

The fans have been gradually increasing in number to watch Uganda’s Tour to India matches here at the Mohanlal Desai Cricket Ground (Sanjay Farm) in South Gujarat, India.
Many of them have gone on to fall in love with the Cricket Cranes and support the coach Steve Tikolo-tutored outfit. Uganda have reciprocated the act by offering the natives as many autographs as per their wish.
But to many Indians, an autograph is not just a mere signature even if it’s from a budding cricket country’s national team player. It is equated to winning a million dollar jackpot in a casino.
And when Uganda wrapped their sixth win of the India Tour Series on Tuesday, the autograph-hunting locals told whoever cared to listen to them in the Ugandan camp that they (Cricket Cranes) would finally go down to highly-rated Bharuch District Cricket Association XI when the team met on the following day in a 40-over encounter.
Bharuch District C.A were the early birds in Chikhil Town having made a 150 kilometers road trip from the South Gujarat border to be in time for the 9.30am (7am Uganda time) pre-match toss yesterday.
Their captain Kayshap Prajapati swaggered into the middle for the toss with an aura of invincibility and when Uganda captain Roger Mukasa asked him to bat first, the former cut a posture of ‘thanks for playing into my hands’.
Prajapati (20 runs off 36 balls) returned to open the batting with Smith Patel (19 runs off 44 balls) played with assuredness as they reached 38 for no loss in 11.5 overs. 
But as they were planning to increase the scoring rate, Mukasa introduced his elder brother Frank Nsubuga, an off-spinner, into the attack.
Nsubuga (3 wickets for 8 runs in 7 overs) prized out both openers and Man of Match (MOM) Henry Ssenyondo (5 wickets for 6 runs in 5.3 overs) bowled exciting lines of deceit as the last nine wickets fell for 39 runs to leave the star-bolstered Bharuch C.A all out on 77 runs in only 31.3 overs.
Coach Tikolo’s plea to young openers Simon Ssesazi (13 runs off 23 balls) and Zephaniah Arinaitwe (6 runs off 11 balls) was that they chase down the set target without returning to the dug-out. 
But Arinaitwe was back for a quick shower at 21 for 1 in 3 overs and Ssesazi followed at 64 for 2 after 10.2 overs.

Yesterday’s results in Chikhil - 40 overs
Bharuch District C.A 77 runs all out in 31.3 overs lost to Uganda 80 runs for 5 wickets in 14.5 overs by five wickets with 151 balls remaining.
Man of Match: Henry Ssenyondo 
Today – 40-Over Match
Sterling Generators vs. Uganda

By Innocent Ndawula

Ligyalingi bows out as CEO

For nearly a decade, Justine Ligyalingi has been the face of Uganda’s cricket. He has seen it all. 
But on Monday, Ligyalingi officially resigned from the position of Chief Executive Officer at Uganda Cricket Association (UCA).
“I have done two terms, that’s eight years and it’s time to move on,” Ligyalingi told this paper hours after his exit email streamed to the media.
He had held this position since 2010. Here, shaped the sport in thick and thin and was at the fore front of hosting different championships at the local, regional and international level.
Not to forget, Ligyalingi was a key figure in Uganda’s recent successes such as the 2011 ICC Africa Twenty20 Championship on home soil as well as the 2017 ICC Africa Women’s T20 tourney in Zimbabwe.
“Its given me lessons, requiring things to work with in real time, managing multiple complex stakeholders, but at the same time an experience that I am grateful about.”
“We have achieved together as a team. And I am very glad to leave at this stage where UCA is looking very bright and moving to a higher level. Cricket has made me what I am and I am happy to have served.” added the 47-year-old.
Ligyalingi, who had held the position of assistant general secretary of National Council of Sports (NCS) prior from 1998-2010, did not resign in email though. Ligyalingi, a wicket-keeper batsman back in his heyday, sent out a document advertising his former job, confirming keys decisions that came through from the recent UCA AGM.
The meeting agreed to find a new CEO, who will now administer the sport in a crucial spell where the senior men’s national team - the Cricket Cranes - is seeking promotion from the ICC World Cricket League Division Four.
Promotion from this tournament due April 28 - May 5 in Malaysia could enhance the support UCA receives in terms of grants from international body ICC.
But to become UCA CEO, one must have in-depth knowledge on the local game and international connections within the sport.
Daily Monitor understands that three individuals are candidates for the vacant job. 
They include Martin Ondeko, who has served as UCA Adminstration and Operations Officer since 2009.
“I haven’t heard about that yet,” Ondeko said when contacted about the job. “I haven’t decided yet (about applying).” the Nile Cricket Club batsman added.
Jacob Muddu, a player with Africa Cricket Club, is another in the race for the job as well as teammate Slyvester Rokani.
“Ha ha ha, I am a cricket lover, always be and will,” Muddu stated when asked about his interest for the job.
“It would be nice to serve cricket in any capacity, player (which I currently am) or manager.” the man who first learnt about the game at Busoga College Mwiri in 1996.

Familiar start for Kyobe as Challengers run amok in league

The flow of runs on Day One of the Jazz Safari Division I National Cricket League was evidence there was hunger for action by the players.
The league start which was arguably the most delayed witnessed nearly 500 runs as Challengers began their title quest with a commanding 218-run victory over Nile at Lugogo Oval on Sunday. 
It was a ruthless display from Challengers where their bowlers showed as much desire for the gentleman’s game as the hard-hitting batsmen.
The highlight of it all was Challengers’ opener Arthur Kyobe, who fashioned a familiar start to his season with a calculated ton of 108 runs.
“It’s a great way to start after all the hard work in the nets and gym,” said a smiling Kyobe.
“The wicket was tough to play on at the start but I slowly gelled in,” the former Tornado player said.
Since joining Challengers in 2014, Kyobe often starts the season with big knocks but eventually fades. He thinks things will be different.
“I pray I can balance the equation this season. National coach Steve Tikolo has really helped me and I maintain form until the World Cricket League Division Three event,” added the 28-year-old.
Donning a new black and light green kit with a new jersey number 225 - his highest career score, left-hander Kyobe struck 15 boundaries in his 127-ball innings that ended when he was caught by Ivan Baidhu off Samuel Mwanja (3/55) after 33.2 overs.
Regardless, he combined well with fellow opener Hamu Kayondo (88 off 95) to put up an opening stand of 206 runs. New signings Kamal Shahzad tightened the loose ends with 29-ball 43 whereas Irfan Afridi’s late quick-fire 50 off 22 helped Challengers set 354 runs. 
 Afridi (4/28), Henry Senyondo (2/20) and new boy David Wabwire (2/48) shared wickets for fun as Nile folded for 136 in 25 overs.
Meanwhile, Tornado began new life in the second tier with a close shave. Henry Okecho’s side pipped careless Strikers by 10 runs with 28 balls to spare at Kyambogo Oval. Strikers needed 70 runs to win with seven wickets in hand but they bottled it.

JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE

WEEKEND RESULTS
DIVISION ONE
Challengers 354/7 Nile 136/10
(Challengers won by 218 runs)
DIVISION TWO
Tornado 185/7 Strikers 175/10
(Tornado won by 10 runs)

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Ssenyondo, Nampiina, Apio shine as Tornado Bee is crowned

When new Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) chairman Bashir Ansasira cut a relaxed pose at Lugogo Oval on Saturday, it was not that comfortable as it appeared.

Deep down, Richard Mwami’s successor felt the then ongoing annual UCA Awards could have been better.

Well, understandable, the awards ceremony would have graced a hall with the fraternity in suits and dresses like previous editions. But those in the hierarchy noted that there wasn’t much time to organise a glamorous event following the recent transition and happenings in UCA.

That though did not take the shine away as Henry Ssenyondo and Stephanie Nampiina were named the Most Valuable Players (MVP) for the 2016 season.

Challengers’ left-arm orthodox spinner Ssenyondo beat rival 2015 MVP Roger Mukasa of Tornado Bee to scoop the top gong having accumulated 47 wickets at an economy of 3.06 runs in the Jazz Safari National Men’s Division One 50-Over League. 

“I feel happy and glad to have made it this far,” said Ssenyondo. To the contrary, his side lost the title to Tornado Bee but he hopes Challengers can push for the title.

“Hopefully we can go on and win this season. I pray I can maintain the form this year ahead of the World Cricket League Division III,” he said.

Mukasa was best batsman and fielder with 419 runs and 15 dismissals respectively. Arnold Otwani, who had four centuries, was named MVP in the men’s second tier with 735 runs, 14 wickets and six dismissals - backbone for Aziz Damani’s promotion. Jinja SS’ leg spinner Nampiina was best in the National Women’s Division One League after scoring 238 runs and picking 26 wickets last season. In the second division, Joyce Mary Apio only failed to take the best wicket-keeper (went to Premier’s Stella Kyabangi).

Olila’s Apio had six dismissals, 22 wickets and 178 runs to bag the best fielder, bowler, batter awards. The MVP honour inevitably headed her way too.

 

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Ansasira replaces Mwami as new cricket top honcho

Nile Cricket Club’s Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira was elected into office as Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) chairman in a hotly contested election at Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo.

Badu garnered nine of 16 votes while his opponents Paul Luswata Nsibuka of Tornado and KICC’s Mukesh Shukla got seven and zero respectively.

There was pre-election controversy over who was supposed to vote on behalf of KICC and whether the constitution was flouted by the late inclusion of Mukesh on the ballot. This prompted outgoing chairman Richard Mwami to swing his powerful willow into action by ‘throwing’ KICC out of the elective assembly till they resolve their in-house issues.

Mwami’s actions were however supported by the constitution that calls for clubs to offer their delegates and also gives a provision for nominations in the assembly as seen below.

Though KICC returned with Shukla and Hanumant Katkar as their delegates, there was no doubt when the former polled no vote that the Dr Sudhir Ruparelia-led club had hatched up a plan to swing the vote, which could have ended in a loathed draw. This development caught the assembly off guard given some Mukesh posters been littered in Sun Lounge room of Mukesh prior to the meeting. But there were no prizes for guessing whom they had voted when they celebrated Badu’s victory louder than anyone else.

“We are ready to take responsibility of our duties and actions. We shall bring peace in cricket through high levels of transparency,” Badu promised in his victory speech reading right through the mood of an assembly that gave their auditor George Ndiko a tough time consequently declining to return him for another term.

Incumbent Jeremy Kibuukamusoke was a lightweight for Eric Kamara, who outmuscled him 12 to 4 votes in the race for secretary. Ansasira and Kamara are scheduled to appoint the heads of the different serving committees including but not restricted to finance, technical, games, disciplinary and marketing, among others.

HOW THEY VOTED 
CHAIRMAN
Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira: 9
Paul Nsibuuka Luswata: 7 
Mukesh Shukla: 0
SECRETARY
Eric Kamara: 12 
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke: 4
Board Members
Mary Nanderenga Makumbi - Women Representative 
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke -Tornado B
Paul Kaheru - Africa
Premal Yagnik - Premier
Paul Nsibuka Luswata -Tornado
Emmanuel Tibagye - JACC
Mukesh Shukla - KICC

RULE OF LAW 
Any two members of an affiliated Club may propose candidates to take up offices by notice in writing to the Secretary at least seven days before the date of the meeting, and the Secretary shall forthwith post the same in the Association premises, with the exception that further nominations to offices can be made on the floor at the time of election, subject to the different Club’s rights created herein.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

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