By Norman Katende
A few months back, he said he was still around to challenge the young ones. But one of Uganda’s most refined cricketers, Benjamin Musoke, officially called it quits from international duty on Friday. This was during the awards ceremony for the Pepsi ICC Africa T20 Division I championship at Hotel Africana.
The 36-year old received a standing ovation when national team manager Andrew Othieno called him to the podium to receive an autographed T-shirt that was handed to him by Tanzania’s association’s boss Tarih Kitisa.
Normally, it would have been just a ceremony for Kitisa to hand over the T-shirt. But the hug that followed showed how far Kitisa and Musoke have come.
“I have followed his (Musoke) progress since he was a teenager. I named him in the East Africa team that played in the U-19 tournament in 1997 in Malaysia,” said Kitisa of the right-hand batsman.
“He has been a refined player up to today,” said Kitisa, after handing over the t-shit.
National team coach Martin Suji was all praise for the Tornado club player, best known in local cricket circles as Benzo. “He was an inspiration in Uganda cricket and beyond,” Suji noted. And to echo the coach’s words, one of the inscriptions on the T-shirt read: “Great lessons to all, even in Rwanda.”
Musoke, who won last seasons MVP accolade, made his senior international debut in 2004 during the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Namibia.
“My best time was when we qualified for the Division II World Cricket League. I really felt proud of being part of the team,” he recalled.
And about the decision to quit, he said he is leaving the stage for young lads.
“But I have seen new brilliant young players make it to the national team and that is why I have called it quits and concentrate on my role in Tornado,” he proudly explained.