By Charles Mutebi
THE road ahead for Uganda cricket is long and hard but the lead driver feels he is still up for the challenge.
Richard Mwami, chairman of local cricket association UCA, is ready to help steer the push to regain the feel good factor, which has all but disappeared following Uganda’s relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division 3.
Relegation was the consequence of what is easily Uganda’s most humiliating showing at an ICC tournament, with six heavy defeats in six matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.
It will take another three years before Uganda get another crack at promotion from the backwaters of Division 3 provided, of course, Australia, England and India don’t succeed in their selfish push to cut off non-test playing nations from the high table of cricket World Cups. Some World Cups those would be!
Anyway, in terms of incentives, there are few for someone in Mwami’s position. Yet quitting now is not among his options.
“I am hoping the council will give another opportunity,” Mwami confirmed to New Vision ahead of February’s elective general assembly.
The former Uganda captain explained that UCA need to alter their strategy in the wake of fast-changing associate cricket.
“In the recent past, our resource allocation has been 60% skewed towards the national team because we were chasing qualification to Division 2 and we wanted to gain access to the benefits there.
“But now we have to go back to the drawing board and change our strategy. We need to allocate most to our development programmes now. We need to go back to the schools and start having UCA directly running activities in schools”.
He revealed: “We have to start a three to five-year plan (to address the new situation).”
It is not all doom and gloom after all.
Believe it or not there are actually some good things happening even though they are not similar in magnitude to the story of the moment – the depressing performance of the national team at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Still, good news is good news and as such, congratulations are due to the UCA for winning the ICC Africa regional award for running the Best Women’s Cricket Initiative.
The Lifetime Service award also went to Uganda or to be precise to a Ugandan, William Luwagga Kamanyi. After many years of dedicated service to the grassroots development of cricket, his efforts have received continental recognition.
“Kamanyi has worked for Uganda cricket for a very, very, very long time and he has done so many good things,” explained UCA chief administrator Martin Ondeko.
“Kamanyi has done a lot for cricket development. He has done a lot for mini cricket. He is the person you will call if you want someone to go up-country to run an activity”.
Kamanyi is the second Ugandan to win the award, emulating former UCA chairman Abbey Lutaaya. Kamanyi’s credentials were submitted by the UCA to the ICC Regional office ahead of the nominations and the rest, as they say, is history.