Aziz Damani dominate 2017 UCA Awards

PAST MEN’S LEAGUE WINNERS

2017: Aziz Damani
2016: Tornado Bee
2015: Tornado Bee
2014: Tornado Bee
2013: Tornado Bee
2012: Tornado
2011: Patidar Samaj

KAMPALA. In 2016, Tornado Bee became the first club to win four straight championships in the Jazz Safari National Cricket League.

However, their run was ended by Aziz Damani who won the title last year on the first time of asking. Damani was officially crowned as the 2017 champions during the League Awards’ ceremony at Lugogo Oval on Sunday.

It only felt a dream come true for Damani Club CEO Siva Koti Reddy who started the team in 2015. “We are very happy,” he said after lifting the trophy with captain Ghulam Hunzai on a rather cold evening after their UCA Super Cup match with 2017 Division Two kings Premier.

On the same evening, Kutchi Tigers’ Raghvani Shantilal was crowned as Player of Series thanks to his best batsman figures of 554 runs in 13 innings. Each year, the trophy cabinet grown bigger for Damani. Koti’s interest grew in the game after their franchise won the 2015 Night Cricket Championship.

They won the 2016 Kishore Pabari Memorial T20 Cup, 2016 Division Two and the 2017 Super Cup, meaning their topflight success is no fluke. Also, the ladies’ side Aziz Damani-Masaka SS also lifted the Women’s Division Two championship.

But Damani now wants to erase Tornado Bee’s records. “Definitely, the target is to win the Championship for both men and women,” Siva stated after confirming three new signings.
“Tornado Bee won four in a row but we want to win the next four.”

If anything, the signings of budding wicket-keeper Fred Achelam and left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa as well as in-form spinner Henry Ssenyondo from Challengers imply the huge intent by the yellow brigade.

Achelam replaces Arnold Otwani who left for Charity Trust Fund, was the best wicket-keeper last season with 20 dismissals.

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Olila dominate awards, Jinja defiant

Habibu Mugalula, the Cricket Master of Jinja Senior Secondary School, taunted the rivaling schools that ‘we are here to stay’ in the aftermath of his school’s tense five-wicket win over Masaka Secondary School in the final of the UCA Girls Cricket Week at Lugogo Oval on Wednesday.

Jinja SSS hit new highs by winning a record sixth title at the tournament’s 16th edition but none of his players stepped onto the podium to collect an individual prize.

Mugalula, though, refused to buckle when journalists asked whether his school was becoming a waning powerhouse.

“If you look at all those other schools, they have players that I personally nurtured,” said Mugalula, a bowling all-rounder in his heyday. “They have no culture. They pick players from everywhere and then boast that they’re improving.”

But as Mugalula took a dig at the chasing pack, Johnny-come-latelys Olila High School could afford to sit back, relax and smile after they dominated the annual showpiece using their home-bred talent.

The Olila trio of towering Mildred Anyigo with 66 runs was the best batter, captain Joyce Mary Apio (with 13 wickets) was the best bowler whereas Esther Iloku stood our as the best wicketkeeper with four dismissals.

“It is a bad thing for us not to have made it to the final. But we have showed that we have quality littered across all departments in our side. People have seen what we can do and I am certain we will be back stronger next year,” said coach Ivan Kakande, who was flanked by Soroti Cricket Academy patron Felix Musana, a man who takes the credit for giving birth to the gentleman’s game in that region.

For Masaka SS, who lost in their first appearance in the final after four editions in the national competition, their consolation was having Most Valuable Player (MVP) Immaculate Nakisuyi in their ranks.

The Lady Cricket Cranes star was in her own class with 138 runs and six wickets.

UCA Girls Cricket Week
Individual Award Winners
Player of Series: 
Immaculate Nakisuyi (138 runs & 6 wickets, Masaka SS)
Best Batter: 
Mildred Anyigo (66 runs, Olila HS)
Best Bowler: 
Joyce Mary Apio (13 wickets, Olila HS)
Best Fielder: 
Ssanyu Nabagala (5 dismissals, Gayaza HS)
Best Wicketkeeper: 
Esther Iloku (4 dismissals, Olila HS)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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