Kenya itching to renew rivalry with old enemy Cricket Cranes

Thomas Odoyo, Kenya’s coach, says it will be ‘business as usual’ when he leads his star-studded side in a five-match Limited Overs Easter Series against the Cricket ‘Cranes starting tomorrow.

The Kenya Simbas jet into the country aboard RwandAir this evening and Odoyo says his men will be bustling when the sun comes out for their series opener against the hosts at Kyambogo Oval on Good Friday.

“We have answered our brothers’ call,” said Odoyo, in a telephone interview with this paper after his team’s workout at Ruaraka Oval in Nairobi. “Uganda have an important tournament coming up next month and they wanted a strong team that will give them good preparation.

“Everyone is in and they should expect a good contest. For us, it is going to be business as usual.”

Uganda CEO Justine Ligyalingi wrote to Cricket Kenya (CK) requesting them to retain the squad that played against Nepal in the ICC World Cricket League Championship matches last month. And CK have duly obliged with an aim of helping their ‘younger brother’ Uganda get ample preparation ahead of the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament which the latter will host next month (May 23-31).

The last time Kenya played Uganda in September, Uganda carried the day with a two-wicket win at the Nairobi Jaffrey’s Academy Oval in the same format (50 overs) that will be played over the entire series. The Cricket Cranes opposition for the two slots at stake, to earn promotion to the coveted Division II, include United States of America, Oman, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia.

Uganda have been quietly under-going non-residential training under the tutelage of Kenyan tactician Steve Tikolo at Lugogo and Kyambogo Oval, and will be itching to show their ‘old enemy and big brother’ that they are a much improved outfit from their last meeting.

TEAM KENYA
Nelson Odhiambo, Dhiren Gondaria, Pushpak Kerai (Kanbis), Shem Obado, Collins Obuya (Stray Lions), Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Alex Obanda (Swamibapa), Karan Kaul, Lucas Oluoch, RushabhVadrhan Patel (Nairobi Gymkhana), Gurdeep Singh (Nairobi Sikh Union) Eugene Ochieng (Kongonis) and Irfan Karim (unattached).

Coach: Thomas Odoyo Assistant Coach: Peter Ongondo Physio: Moses Ndungu Batting Coach: Maurice Odumbe

EASTER SERIES ITINERARY 
LIMITED OVERS (50) CONTESTS
Today: Kenya arrives
April 14: Match vs Kenya
April 15: Practice/Rest day
April 16: Match vs Kenya
April 17: Match vs Kenya
April 18: Practice/Rest day
April 19: Match vs Kenya
April 20: Match vs Kenya
April 21: Kenya departs

By INNOCENT NDAUWLA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

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UCA ‘empower’ 40 girls’ schools with kit

With over 30 schools currently taking part in the Girls’ Schools Cricket Week Qualifiers, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) have boosted further their preparations ahead of the tourney.

UCA Development Manager Henry Okecho and Operations Manager Martin Ondeko literally empowered 40 girls’ schools by giving them brand new cricket equipment sets to each.

“We encourage you not to misuse the equipment. We want you to use it well to enhance the skills of your students so that they can be able to compete better,” said Okecho, who also thanked Bankstown Cricket Club in Australia for continuing to give UCA good equipment for 13 years to-date, during the hand over at Lugogo.

Each of the schools that was represented by their games and cricket masters received four pairs of batting pads, four pairs of batting gloves, six helmets, four thigh guards, one pair of wicket-keeping gloves and one pair of wicket-keeping pads. The best 12 schools from the qualifiers will take part in the Girls Cricket Week from April 29 to May 4.

THE BENEFICIARIES 
Kololo, Gayaza High, K. C Budo, Ndejje, Seeta High, Mukono Parents, Kyambogo College,City High, Nalinya Lwantale, Green Hill Academy, St Lawrence Sonde, Masaka, Bwala, Kako, Blessed Sacrament, Exodus, St Gerald, Lords Meade, Jinja SSS, Busoga High, St James, Good Heart, Busedde, Pmm Girls, Honest Hill, Olila High, Halcony High, Soroti Mun, Light SSS, Kyebambe, Nyakasura School, Kasese SSS, Kilembe SSS, Mt Rwenzori, St Theresa, Mt Rwenzori, Bwera SSS, Mutwanyana High, Rock High, Tororo Town College.

By INNOCENT NDAWULA

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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

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UCA on road to conform with Sports Act

For the first time in the history of the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), its elective assembly will take place after February.


And whereas such an occurrence has ruffled many feathers within the fraternity, outgoing UCA chairman Richard Mwami insists that they must look at the big picture.


“I am a busy man and I will be travelling a lot to help my company (EzeeMoney) grow as an entity. But we don’t want to hand over power when things are not right,” said Mwami, who has served as boss for the last four years.
“During our Special General Assembly on February 6 at Lugogo, we could not discuss any matter going forward because we are not legal. We are not aligned within the requirements of the 2014 National Council of Sports (NCS) regulations and we issued a notice of statutory change within 30 days as stipulated.”


Lawyers Dunstan Nsubuga Kamunvi, Fred Mpanga, Nicholas Kebba and Jeremy Kibuukamusoke, who is also the association’s secretary, averted any looming chaos by advising that UCA first sort out with NCS before the assembly can be held.


“It is a good thing that everyone in the assembly understands that we need to first be recognised by NCS,” says UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi.


“Our learned friends (read lawyers) intervened and guided us there. Now the secretary has called for another SGM on March 12, which will be a vital step in our roadmap to ensure UCA conforms with NCS and set a date for the elective AGM.”


Previously, UCA was registered as a limited company and according to the new NCS Sports Act, it must either be a trusteeship or a non-governmental organisation body. 
“We have opted to register it as a trusteeship,” says Mwami, also a former national top-order batsman.
“After the SGM in March, we will provide for 21 days for the women clubs to pick their delegate to the board as well as the eight men’s clubs to appoint representatives to the new board from which the new chairman will be voted.” Each of the eight voting clubs will nominate one member to constitute the new-look board.

 

AGENDA - MARCH 12 
l Registration of delegates and determination of quorum. 
l Dissolution of Uganda Cricket Association Limited.
l Adoption of a trust complying with the National Council of Sports statutory requirements.
l Appointment of Trustees.
l Confirmation of Annual General Meeting date.

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Pioneer remain on track with league victory over JACC

Pioneer skipper Justine Musubika struck a 68-ball 82 half-century to help her side beat hosts Jinja Association of Cricket Clubs (JACC) by 164 runs on Saturday.

“Like what any other leader would do,” Musubika said of her display. “Of course, those innings were very important to me and my team.”

The result was Pioneer’s seventh straight victory in eight ties and kept them top of the National Women’s 40-Over League log with 42 points, six clear of KICC and Tornado B. 
With six games to go, Musubika knows she and her teammates must keep performing to seal the title. 

“We don’t want to lose grip. We want to remain top of the table,” added the sibling of former Cricket Cranes players Fred Isabirye and Charles Waiswa.

With both sides arriving late due to unavoidable circumstances, Musubika won the toss and opted to bat.

Openers Carol Namugenyi and Lelia Namaganda fell early but Musubika restored parity with 10 boundaries in a 50-run partnership with Franklyn Najjumba (26 run-a-ball). Another 57-ball 40 from Betty Kalende led Pioneer to 231-5 from 32 overs. Despite Nuru Nakaziba (19 off 47) and Grace Nabasa’s (14 off 55) bravery, they couldn’t find their way past Pricco Nakitende (5/17) and Namugenyi (2/15).

Weekend results 
Pioneer 231/5 JACC 57/10
(Pioneer won by 174 runs)
Charity TF 154/7 Premier 84/5
(Charity TF won by 70 runs)

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Schools Cricket Week bats big time with Shs10m

Pepsi Cola has today committed Shs10 million to the successful staging of this year’s #Pepsi Boys Schools Cricket Week that will run from August 15th to 21st, 2015 at various ovals.


The week-long tournament will also be supported by Bankstown Cricket Club (Australia) will be played at five different grounds; Lugogo, Kyambogo, Kings College Budo, and Gayaza High School cricket ovals with two games per day. 


Ms. Tracy Kakuru, the brand executive, who represented Mr. Innocent Tibayeita, the head of sales and marketing at Crown Beverages Limited, the bottlers of Pepsi, said the sponsorship will cover, among other things, refreshments, publicity, transport, trophies, accommodation and meals. 


“Pepsi has decided to sponsor the upcoming #cricket week for boys secondary schools with a Shs10 million package as a sign of its continued commitment to developing the sport in Uganda.

The sport also offers us an opportunity to showcase our thematic campaign of Live For Now,” said Ms Kakuru.


“As Pepsi Cola we know that youth want to grab as many fun, active, exciting and spontaneous, social opportunities as they can. They are ready for the fun, excitement and entertainment and they want all this, now. It’s for this reason that we are positioning Pepsi Cola as the catalyst for the Now moments,” she added at the unveiling of the sponsorship package at Lugogo in Kampala.


According to Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), 12 schools picked from the regional qualifiers will be joined by an invitational side from Rwanda to take part in the tournament.
From the Central region; Kololo SS, King’s College Budo, Aga Khan High School, Kyambogo College and Mukono Parents High School qualified for the event, while from the Eastern Region; Busoga College Mwiri, Jinja Senior Secondary School, Busoga High School, and St. James Senior Secondary School, as St Leo’s College Kyegobe and Nyakasura School qualified from the Western Region and Masaka Senior Secondary School from the South Western Region. 


Last year’s championship was shared between Kololo SS and Busoga College Mwiri.
According to the Mr Justine Ligyalingi, the CEO UCA, this tournament, other than promoting development of the sport locally, is critical in identifying talent at various competition levels, including the national schools team.


“This competition provides the Association with a platform to select the squad of Under 19 players that shall be involved in the Global Under 19 Qualifiers due to take place in October plus other age group tournaments. We would also like to thank the media for the good coverage of our activities, and looking forward to strengthen this relationship,” Ligyalingi said, adding: “We appreciate Pepsi’s contribution today, as well as their past support to the rejuvenation of the game in Uganda.”
This will be the fourth-year running that Pepsi is sponsoring the Boys Schools’ Cricket Week and fans will not only be able to enjoy ice-cold Pepsi Cola sodas but they will get a chance to win lots of prizes during the tournament. 
This year’s tournament, according to Mr. Ligyalingi, shall run for a week with the introduction of the quarter finals and classification games. The fixtures will be released after the draws on Saturday. 
During this tournament, the best players shall be selected to form a schools select team that shall travel to Rwanda for a series of build-up games.

 

For More Information Contact: 
Berna Kizza,
Brand Manager, Pepsi
Tel: +256754473287
Or 
Justin Ligyalingi, 
CEO, Uganda Cricket Association 
Tel +256777759851

 

 

Pioneer aiming to keep pace with leaders KICC

It’s a three-way battle for the title among Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC), Pioneer and Tornado B in the ongoing National Women’s 40-Over Cricket League.

The trio have won their last four matches but with two of the competitors out of action, Pioneer (30 points) could leapfrog KICC (31) and return to top when they face Ndejje-Premier at Lugogo Oval today.

The ladies in pink may be fancied but must display their experience with the bat against Premier’s bowling pair of Esther Nalubowa and Hilda Kabaseke (9 wickets apiece).
“Much as I am ready mentally, I need to improve physically,” said Pioneer’s opener Barbra Mukankusi.

Former Lady Cricket Cranes skipper Mukankusi has so far managed 96 runs from five innings and is hungry for more. “Surely, I need to pile a good total and help my team keep firm in the title race,” noted the 31-year-old mother of two.

With support from her fellow opener Leila Namaganda (43 runs from six innings), Mukankusi also has back up from the pair of Franklyn Najjumba and Carol Namugenyi, who have combined for 222 runs.

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Mukasa century at Jinja SS seals Tornado B’s flawless first round

Tornado B’s Roger Mukasa capped another impressive day with the bat as he scored a 114-ball 173 ton to help his side to a 185-run victory over hosts Jinja SS in the men’s Division One National 50-Over League encounter on Sunday.
Mukasa’s century, now the highest knock this year thus far, ensured the defending champions Tornado B completed the first round of seven games with their 100 per cent unbeaten record intact on 39 points and forthwith atop the log.
“I am pretty delighted with the feat,” a composed Mukasa told Daily Monitor as he cooled off from Jinja while watching the Commonwealth Games with teammates at Lugogo Tennis Club on Sunday evening. 
Eight days ago, the top-order batsman had blazed 154 in the 144-run win over Wanderers and prior to heading to Jinja, the image of celebrating his first ever back-to-back career tons was never envisioned.

Successive ton
“I did not think of scoring another century so soon,” he said, “But after I hit the first ball, I felt like I would go on to play like my idol Adam Glichrist (retired Australian batsman and wicket-keeper),” Mukasa added. He now leads the batting charts with 451 runs from six innings.
With two wickets down after 7.2 overs, the 25-year-old rode his luck after being dropped on 73 and went on to strike 17 fours until he was caught by Aloysious Odoi off Geoffrey Gandi’s (2/62) on penultimate ball of the 43rd over.
Mukasa’s effort was supplemented with knocks from Lawrence Ssematimba (51), Davis Karashani (26) and the Kibuukamusoke brothers; captain Jeremy (39) and Cyrus (25) as Tornado B coasted to the season’s highest aggregate of 375 for 7.
Following in-swing medium pacer John Mpande’s (4/21) damage, Jinja SS were 43 for 5 after 10 overs but some resistance from Emmanuel Taban (45) and Odoi (42) helped them reach a paltry 190 runs.
Meanwhile, Challengers returned to winning ways after three months with a 199-run victory over a depleted Nile. Celebrating his 22nd birthday in style, Challengers’ Arnold Otwani stroked a 94-ball 73 half ton and paired for a match-winning 107-run third-wicket combo with Ivan Thawithemwira (69 off 73) as they set 280 for 4. Otwani later claimed five scalps for 26 runs as Nile were bowled out for 81.

NATIONAL 50 -OVer League RESULTs
DIVISION ONE
Tornado B 375/7 Jinja SS 190/10 
Challengers 280/8 Nile 81/10 
DIVISION TWO
Patidar 149/10 Mwiri 150/7 
Kutchi Tigers 325/9 Premier 156/10

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