Cricket. Defending champions Wanderers are winless and destined to find the going tough against the Davis Turinawe-tutored Pioneer Cricket Club.
Aside from experience, the levels of expectation are pretty much similar when Pioneer Cricket Club clashes off with holders Wanderers in the National Women’s 40-Over League at Lugogo Oval today.
“No team in the title race wants to falter at this stage,” Pioneer’s Franklyn Najjumba said. “We want to keep pace with main contenders KICC and Tornado B,”
All-rounder Najjumba struck the season’s highest batting score thus far of 45 off 50 balls as they defeated favorites KICC by 27 runs a fortnight ago.
“That win over KICC propels our title quest,” skipper Justine Musubika said. With Musubika’s undoubted bowling strength and significant contribution from Barbara Mukankusi and Pricco Nakitende, Wanderers are in for a tough test.
“We lost our opener to Tornado B (last weekend) but our fight is not done,” Wanderers captain Janet Mbabazi said.
She, alongside Esther Ngabirye, Mary Nalule, Evelyn Anyipo and Julia Karungi are the survivors from the team that popped champagne last year. “Pioneer may be a more experienced side and albeit that, we also want to show the mark of champions on Saturday (today).” Mbabazi added. Across the Nile River, Jinja SS and Ndejje-Premier will look forward to their first season contest after JACC failed to turn up in both outfits’ opening fixtures.
“We hope to start off well despite losing some key players,” said Jinja SS coach Habibu Mugalula whose hopes lie in skipper Claire Mushakamba and Damalie Busingye.
A vast number of talents at the helm of Ugandan cricket today such as Ham Kayondo, Charles Waiswa and Arthur Kyobe were realised through Mini Cricket Development Program (MCDP). That talent search norm has not stopped. This year, the MCDP is set to attract over 6000 participants in U-11 and U-13 categories at district levels. These will partake in softball activation festivals at primary school level around the country.
“Once youngsters get introduced to the bat and ball early, there is a chance to grow their interest in the game of cricket,” Uganda Cricket Association Development Officer Henry Okecho told Saturday Monitor.
TODAY - WOMEN’s LEAGUE
At Lugogo Oval
Pioneer vs. Wanderers, 10am
At Jinja Oval
Jinja SS vs. Ndejje-Premier, 10am