Uganda: Working under many constraints
By Bernie Wijesekera
It’s a fairytale beginning for cricket in Uganda with the
dawn of British colonialism at the start of the 20th century.
game was introduced by the then donors that be and CMS Missionaries
schools to the natives. Despite a slow and slippery start, it to
has taken a firm root. Their youth development and promoting programme
has won acclaim from the world body (ICC) Awards. Thousands of boys
and girls aged 16-19 from far and wide have taken to the willow
wielding sport. Thanks to a dedicated band of administrators and
volunteers actively involved and working for the right reasons”,
said Uganda U-19 coach Sam Walusimbi.
emerging nation from the African region where there is rich and
opulence aplenty. To overcome these setbacks Uganda Cricket Association
with an unstilted team effort, with the support coming from volunteers,
sans a power struggle has got their act-together with a well structured
programme for the future of cricket. Before long they could match
other cricket playing nations in the region.
Chairman of UCA Ivan Kyayonka has ensured, the sponsors got a healthy
return on their investment. The fruits are bearing with this hard
work with their under-19 team participating in the World Cup. The
team has raised many an eyebrow when they qualified for the last
junior world Cup held in Bangladesh in Feb. 2004. In the annals
of sports in Uganda this was the first time in any discipline that
they qualified for World Cup finals. Repeated again by qualifying
for the 2006 World Cup in Sri Lanka
reasons: The UGA’s total commitment of open, transparent accountability
to their sponsors at all levels. The sponsors continued to grow
for the game to spread its gospel to a wider spectrum.
have massed out a five –year plan to continue to take part
in the future World Cups too. The structure key areas – Mini
cricket at grassroots level. Schools development, cricket Academies
abdomen’s cricket – There is a great following. Club
cricket, grounds, umpiring, National teams etc.
Uganda has active and determined people to uplift the sport at grassroots
level. Awareness of the game. More playing finals (mat wickets).
Maintain grass pitches to enable Uganda to make their skills at
a higher level. The first green pitch was laid in Kampala in Feb.
2004 with the assistance of South African expertise.
World Cup player (South African team 1975), Sam Walusimbi is the
Under-19 coach. He says the youth team is very talented, has the
skills and the fighting spirit is at the very best. They have gained
and all have gone through the tunnel.
team is led by Hamza Almuzahim. In their group they will play against
New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Under-19 team are true
ambassadors. They have self-belief and play it hard.
year 2003 the ICC voted the Uganda Schools Development Programme
– the best in Africa. The next generations of Uganda cricket
is bound to reap the harvest.
– Justino Ligyaliagi, Physio – Andrew Maya. Sans a green
pitch Uganda still qualified for the junior W.C. in Bangladesh.
Their future looks bright with local and international support.
The UCA looks forward to host and organize international tournaments
in the future.