By Ronnie Kintu
THOUGH ending on a sour note for the senior cricket team after a disastrous mini World Cup in Ireland in July, the youngsters have brought a glimmer of hope to the fans after the U-19 team qualified to play at the 2007 World Cup in Sri Lanka. The tournament starts in February.A number of the teenagers have graduated to the senior side and others are showing top form for the junior teams and their respective clubs in the local competitions. Below are some of the talents who have mushroomed during the season and have come to be admired by the local fans.
The left-handed player made his presence felt during the International Cricket Council (ICC) championship that had Uganda host Kenya and Namibia. Despite losing both games, Waiswa, a medium pace bowler, was outstanding and since then he has maintained his stature in the national team.
In the game against Kenya he returned bowling figures of 4-58.
In Ireland, Waiswa played a major role and was only unfortunate that his bowling antics were let down by the general national teamâ€™s batting. Waiswa also features for local champions Tornado CC.
Probably the fastest bowler on the local scene, Issaneez came to the limelight during the ICC Championship in April.
His blinding speed earned him 30 wickets in the league with a best figures of 5-43.
Playing at both the national U-19 and senior sides, Issaneez has developed into an all-rounder.
One out of a million, with extraordinary talent, Mukasa earned himself the Man-of-the-Series award after a fabulous show in the local league.
Scoring a total of 582 runs that included two centuries and three 50s, (with a career best knock of an unbeaten 130) put Mukasa in a class apart.
His vibrant performance this season could be the key to much brighter future. He has already been drafted into the national U-19 team that travels to Sri Lanka for the World Cup. He is the pillar for his local side Nile CC.
The 18-year old has defied age to stand out for his Patidar side against intimidation by the big guns in the local game.
Simple and composed, Solanki promises a perfect cricket future whose destiny can only be terminated by his own interests.
He finished the league with a total score of 375 runs.
His one ton and three 50s in the league made him contender for the player-of-the-series award, finishing third. He accumulated 411 runs, the fourth highest aggregate of the season.
With his excellent play, Okello inspired Wanderers CC to finish among the top four.
Okello is on the verge of joining the national team ranks basing on his performance.
Super bowling, fielding and batting capabilities were visible from the youngster during the season.
His presence in the league was always felt with his economic bowling that limited many batsmen from scoring.
A true cricket brain with vast talent despite his age, Ssemanda was a key player for Africa CC and his knee injury towards the end of season could have cost ACC the title.
An opening bowler for the national team. The Tornado B player made his national team debut in 2004 during the Africa regional qualifiers for the mini World Cup in Lusaka Zambia.
His form was poor during the 2007 World Cup qualifiers held in Ireland but turned the tables during the Castle Lager league, winning matches for Tornado B.
The 14-year old Castle Development XI player won the annual Yosia Matovu Young Cricketer of the Year award.
He finished the league with a total of 166 runs, scoring at a rate of 53.72.