Home Cricket Cricket Cranes 2022 Cricket Year Review: Cranes fly high as Pearls shine bright like diamond stones

2022 Cricket Year Review: Cranes fly high as Pearls shine bright like diamond stones

by Alan Mugume
4 minutes read

Season’s Greetings from the Secretariat!
As we come to the end of 2022, we would like to thank all members of the fraternity and beyond for supporting cricket this year.

This year started with us taking our U-19 team to the World Cup in the West Indies.
Our 3rd appearance at the junior global showpiece saw us win two games against Paupa New Guinea and Scotland which gave us a 13th-place finish out of 16 teams.

Pace bowler Juma Miyagi was impressive at the tournament and he finished as the third highest wicket-taker.

In March, we signed a two-year sponsorship deal for the Cricket Cranes with Plascon.
The two-year deal is worth 240M with 140M coming to the Uganda Cricket Association
and the rest going into branding of the team.

Our relationship with Namibia also continued to grow as the Cricket Cranes visited Namibia for the Castle Lite Series that included three T20i and two ODIs games.

A much improved performance from the Cricket Cranes saw them lose the T20 series 2-1 and drew the ODI series 1-1.

On the other side of the coin, the Victoria Pearls also visited Namibia for a Tri-Series against the hosts and Zimbabwe.

The inexperienced side suffered a humbling experience as they lost all their 5 games during the series.

In May, the Pearls visited Nepal for the 5 match T20i series. This was the first
time the girls were visiting another cricketing nation in Asia.

The girls returned victorious winning the series 3-2 and this should start a relationship between us and Nepal who are a better cricket nation in terms of global rankings.

Forward into June, the Pearls took part in the annual Kwibuka tournament in Kigali,
Rwanda. The ladies finished 3rd behind winners Tanzania and Kenya.

Back home, we successfully hosted the Challenge League B tournament in Kampala from June 17th to 28th at Lugogo and Kyambogo Ovals.

Five nations visited Kampala and were hosted at Munyonyo for the duration of the tournament and we were fortunate enough to have good weather.

Uganda finished 3rd behind Jersey and Hong Kong with our game against Kenya in Lugogo on Sunday, a big win giving the big crowd a befitting memory.

In July the Cricket Cranes went to the T20 Global World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. There was an opportunity to qualify for the World Cup in Australia but we faulted, finishing 5th out of eight nations. The experience for the boys, however, was invaluable.

In August the Cricket Cranes went to Jersey for the final leg of the Challenge League B. The trip to Jersey couldn’t have been possible without the help of some members in the fraternity and we are grateful to all those that helped us get visas.

The Cricket Cranes failed to make grade from Jersey, losing two games to Kenya and Jersey which meant that the boys finished second behind Jersey who progressed to the next round of the qualifiers.

In September the Cricket Cranes took part in the 1st edition of the Africa Cup in South Africa, in an event that was shown live on SuperSport. Uganda played out an amazing
final with Tanzania and the Cranes won by 8 wickets.

In December the Victoria Pearls took part in a four nation T20 tournament hosted by Kenya which they were able to win when they defeated the hosts in the final by 6 wickets.

The Victoria Pearls will have their T20 World Cup Qualifiers next year and this tournament was a good test of their resolve.

The Cricket Cranes were also in Rwanda at the same time for a tri-nation tournament
that featured Tanzania and Rwanda.

The largely inexperienced side had an opportunity to play at least 12 T20i games and lost just one game to Tanzania.

The experience helped coach Laurence Mahatlane test a wider group of players ahead of a very busy 2023.

Locally, Aziz Damani continued its dominance, winning both the women’s and men’s league titles.

This year due to a lot of backlogs we had only one round of the men’s national league and Aziz Damani won the title without dropping a game.

Aziz Damani won both the women’s T20 and 40-over league titles for the fourth time in a row.

Busoga College Mwiri won the boys’ schools cricket week title when they defeated Nyakasura by a coin toss after the game was stopped by a heavy downpour.

The schools’ cricket week was for the first time hosted outside Kampala with Jinja putting on a great show.

Olila High School won the girls’ version of the schools’ cricket week that was hosted in Kampala, the tournament was being held after two years’ halt due to the Covid pandemic.

We signed an MOU this year to partner with Batball Uganda which is investing in our grassroots program, Batball successfully organized its first tournaments for the young players in the Soroti and Jinja regions.

We are grateful to the Kisementi Jazz group that has taken the initiative to celebrate our former cricketers and elders in the fraternity.

This year Mr. Sam Ssewagude, Mr. Sam Walusimbi, Mr. William Kamanyi and Mr. John Nagenda were all celebrated. We shall continue to work together to celebrate our elders.

On a low note, we are still struggling with facilities to help us run our activities smoothly. Since the end of the Challenge League B tournament, we have been locked out of Kyambogo as the University seeks to revise the terms of engagement.

This has greatly affected the running of the men’s and women’s league and national team preparations.

The use of Lugogo is a continuous battle given the competing needs of the entertainment industry.

However, we continue to engage National Council of Sports to ensure we have a balance.

We are grateful to Ceylon Lions Cricket Club who have continuously been generous with their Serenity Ground in Kamengo whenever we have had a need for it.

We are grateful to other partners such as Roke Telecom, Case Clinic, Speke Resort Munyonyo, and Nile Breweries who have supported us throughout the whole year.

At the Secretariat we had some changes with Martin Ondeko leaving Uganda Cricket Association after 13 years.

Martin had served cricket starting out as an Administrative Officer and rising through the ranks to Operations Manager and the finally to CEO, a position he held for three years.

Joshua Mwanja also joined the Secretariat in December as the new Operations Manager and Joshua is someone known to most of the members in the fraternity.

In the monetary walk, Ritah Nakato also joined the office as the new Finance Manager replacing Hope Maurishia.

We are looking forward to an eventful 2023. We have an opportunity to take part in the All Africa Games for the first time in August.

The U-19 boys will have a shot at the World Cup again when they take part in the Qualifiers in March hosted by Tanzania.

The Victoria Pearls will also have their T20 World Cup Qualifiers in June. The Cricket Cranes will also be part of the T20 World Cup Africa finals in Namibia in October.

Written by Alan Mugume, Uganda Cricket Association Chief Executive Officer

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