By Charles Mutebi
IN a cricket bolt out of the blue, the national selectors have dropped Arthur Kyobe from the side that will represent Uganda in January’s ICC Global Qualifier in New Zealand.
The selectors are basically not convinced the player who has scored the most runs in national colours this year will add more value to the top order than any of the other batsmen in the 15-man line-up.
Kyobe was Uganda’s top runs scorer in the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Bermuda with 157 runs in six innings. Kyobe was sixth overall in the tournament scoring charts.
Kyobe was also the top batsman in the East Africa Cricket series and the left hander is the leading runs scorer in this year’s elite Multiple Industries Cricket League Division 1, with 461 runs from nine innings, a whole 101 runs ahead of the second-ranked Nicholas Kebba.
“It was a very tough decision to drop Kyobe,” said national head coach Johan Rudolph.
“Head of selectors Andrew Otieno made it very clear in the team meeting (where the selections were announced) that it was a very difficult decision. But it has been made”.
Explained Rudolph: “Kyobe struggled mightily in the UAE. Of course, he is not the only top-order batsman who struggled but we are looking at new combinations for the side and it was a decision that was made”.
Kyobe scored 76 runs in six innings at the UAE ICC T20 World Qualifier, the fifth largest return among Uganda’s batsmen.
“We know people are going to respond to this but we can’t control what people say.”
Along with Kyobe and Jonathan Sebanja, Henry Senyondo, Ham Kayondo and Arthur Ziraba are the other UAE casualties.
Returning to the side are Deus Muhumuza, Lawrence Sematimba, Benjamin Musoke while Farouk Ochimi earned a debut call-up.