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Cricket: Uganda struggling with player shortage

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th September 2014 04:53 PM

As Uganda begins a three-tournament episode over the next two months, there is fear a potential cricket feast could end up in a new advertisement for the underlying problems in the local game.

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By Charles Mutebi
 
Africa Sixes Challenge
South Africa: 6-7 September
Participants: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania
 
ACA Cup
South Africa: 8-13 September
Participants: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania
 
As Uganda begins a three-tournament episode over the next two months, there is fear a potential cricket feast could end up in a new advertisement for the underlying problems in the local game. 
 
The men’s national side will take part in the maiden Africa Sixes Challenge and ACA Cup, starting Saturday and Monday respectively in South Africa, before returning home to host the ICC World Cricket League Division III. But rather than generate all-round excitement locally, this appealing menu of international cricket has met with some indifference in certain quarters.
 
Despite almost unanimous support for the new and innovative Africa Sixes Challenge and ACA Cup in addition to the recognition that Uganda need to win the ICC World Cricket League Division III, there is also frustration with the underlying stagnation in the national setup.
 
“If you look at the development setup, there are no new players coming through,” confessed one high ranking official in governing body UCA, speaking on condition of anonymity.
 
“In fact, it is amazing we don’t have a selection headache when it comes to picking the national side. There are simply not enough options”.
 
Uganda are travelling to South Africa without fast bowler Charles Waiswa, veterans Benjamin Musoke, Lawrence Sematimba and gifted batsman Hamza Saleh, four players who have been fixtures in the side for a long time.
 
But as the official pointed out, it is debatable how much these absentees will be missed as three of them were part of Uganda’s winless performance at New Zealand’s Global Qualifier early this year.
 
“If you look at where are right now, it can’t get much worse,” argued the official.
 
“Our most experienced players have their best years behind them so we might as well give some other players a chance. We may have to go backwards before we go forward but we might as well take the gamble now.”

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Cricket: Uganda struggling with player shortage

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