Ugandans must be up for the challenge
The cricket world is already becoming excited about the ICC Div III
championship slated for Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe ovals in Uganda from
October 26 – November 2. Just a look at the teams is enough to make one’s
Uganda and Nepal – both relegated earlier this year from Div II after
their simultaneous promotion ex-Bermuda a year before – will be the teams to
reckon with. So, what about the other four: Malaysia, Singapore, USA and
Interestingly, all four appeared in the ABN-Amro ICC Trophy competition
in Nairobi, Kenya, 20 years ago (1994) – while Nepal did not, and Uganda
were only there for the warm-ups.
How times change! Bermuda came fourth on that occasion – having
previously been Trophy finalists – losing to UAE; from then on it has been a
slippery slide down the ranks for the North Atlantic British territory.
Gone are the days of Charlie Marshall (‘Charlie Marshall, he dance down
de wicket; whack de ball, it’s de game of cricket…’), sharp wicketkeeper
Dean Minors et al. Like Kenya, Bermuda’s reputation as a hothouse of cricket
has taken a dive. This might not have been so, had the side itself also lost
USA made a reasonable showing in 1994. Bolstered by a stream of ‘expats’
from the West Indies, they reached the quarter-finals, then bottomed out.
Singapore – nicknamed the ‘Slingers’ not because of their bowling action but
after the famous drink – and Malaysia were also-rans, though nowadays the
latter can call on ex-Somerset batsman Arul Suppiah and he may make an
appearance in Kampala.
What of the hosts and Uganda’s now arch-adversaries Nepal – Namibia
having gone north? The Mt Everest team will be able to look for support from
their myriad countrymen guarding the likes of Crane Bank, the Kabira Club,
Kampala International School and other edifices multi-billionaire Sudhir
Ruparellia has under his control.
One can expect busloads of Nepali supporters to be bused in from Kireka
and, many being ex-Gurkhas, to come with knives between their teeth!
Uganda will be expected to win. Despite their rock-bottom performance in
New Zealand in January, they have a splendid home record, which includes
trouncing Namibia at Lugogo in 2011. And, if key players have served their
sentences for indiscipline and others come on apace, they should be able to
hand out severe thrashings to several of the visiting teams.
But beware! Uganda do not want to find themselves in a position like
England in Australia last winter, when it was thought the England women’s
team – in the Antipodes at the same time – might have put on a better show;
and it must be admitted that Naomi Kayondo’s charges have experienced a
better recent run than their erstwhile opposition-bashing male counterparts…
UCA NATIONAL WOMEN’S LEAGUE (26th July 2014)
WANDERERS CC 357/3 IN 40 OVERS BEAT JACC 22/10 IN 14.2 OVERS BY 335 RUNS
AT JINJA GROUND.
Toss won by JACC Who opted to field.
BATTING WANDERERS CC: Naome Kayondo 119 off 91 balls, Kevin Apio 96 off 102
balls, Mary Nalule 25 Not Out off 23 balls
BOWLING JACC: Jovia Namusoke 1/ 15 in 1 Over, Linda Achola 1/62 in 8 Overs
BATTING JACC: Grace Nabasa 10 off 30 balls
BOWLING WANDERERS CC: Janet Mbabazi 6/12 in 7 Overs, Rebecca Akwenyu 2/12 in