By Acram Juuko
The issue of when to retire from sport is a question that most sportsmen face at the fag end of their career. Human nature being what it is, it is natural that most sportsmen tend to prolong their careers, especially with the remuneration available today.
However, most sportsmen carry on longer than they should and face the ignominy of being dropped from their teams. It is unfair to attribute the blame solely on the player himself. After all, that is what a player has been doing for the most part of his life.
Cricket, as most cricket watchers know, tends to instead reveal it, sometimes disconcertingly so. The best players go through at least one phase in their careers when this truth hits them like Aziz Damani's all-rounder.
Roger Mukasa's career lately has been painful to watch, especially since he brings with him the potential for so much batting glory. In an industry forever pining away for the next big thing, a potential star's near-complete breakdown in the game warrants scrutiny.
Roger has been one of Uganda’s all-time great all-rounder in the shorter formats of the game. However, like all good things come to an end, Uganda need to make a decision about his current form
Roger is currently 30 and will be 31 at the time of the next challenge cup in Uganda. Even Kenneth Kamyuka played his last game for Uganda at the age of 30
However, he had a great technique to fall back upon whereas Roger relies on hand-eye coordination. He is more of a 'See ball hit ball' kind of player and his recent performances don't speak highly of him.
Since his debut on Aug 17, 2009, against Bermuda till the final game of the ICC challenge league B first round, rogers has played 72 internationally recognized games and scored 1908 runs at a batting average of 19.55 and taken 22 wickets at a bowling average of 33.36 with an economy rate of 4.96
At his pomp, roger was a great fielder and was like a live wire on the field. Nowadays, he seems to have lost his spark and looks pretty lethargic on the field,
Even with his bowling, he has fallen in the pecking order.
Roger's problems offer a unique peek into the challenges of the talented modern era batsman forced to seek success in all three formats. The endless adjustment and alteration of one's technique and mindset can often wreak havoc, stripping away the fundamentals of one's game.
This is what we saw in the game against Italy, roger plodded to 19 off 46 balls (his best score in the tournament), exhibiting an unhinged technique in which bat would meet the ball, only for the bat to pull instantly pull away, as if the batsman was seeking to erase a nonexistent mistake.
Remember that he started out as the teams 2nd most experienced player. The constant 50-plus scores in national domestic league are impressive but he has had constant problems against either the incoming ball or the short one. He was out bowled or LBW in nine consecutive innings at one point.
Sometimes the game can reveal hubris. And other times it will show the mirror on timidity, cunning or even confusion.
Right now for Rogers, there is no time for squeamishness or confusion. He must now rebuild his reputation in the limited-overs whenever given an opportunity. he needs to trust his own game in the shorter formats. Strangely enough, Zephania may be the one to show him how it is done.