Tuesday January 28 2014

Veteran Musoke retires from international cricket



At a time when cricket fraternity is mulling after relegation back to the ICC Division III, veteran Benjamin ‘Benzo’ Musoke has opted to quit limited-overs’ version of cricket. “Benzo’s resolve to retire was announced moments before the Sunday clash with Canada,” skipper Davis Karashani told Daily Monitor from the team base in Tauranga yesterday.

Uganda was due to play Nepal in the ninth-place play-off of ICC World Cup Qualifier at the Bay Oval 2 in Mount Maunganui early this morning. “The clash against Canada marked his final contribution to Uganda cricket with the bat,” Karashani said of the 37-year-old. “The Cricket Cranes are honoured to have played side by side with one of the greatest Ugandan cricket will ever know. Congratulations to Benzo!”

This is Musoke’s second retirement in less than a year, having caught everyone unaware to state Botswana’s game was his last Twenty20 International for Uganda at the Africa Division One Twenty20 Qualifier here 11 months ago. In his final 24-minute innings, the calm and composed batsman made 9 off 24 balls before Uganda was bowled out for 149. Canada won by 59 runs after calculation under Duckworth & Lewis Method.

That defeat ensured Uganda Cricket Association missed out on a lucrative ICC High Performance Program (HPP) funding of $1m (Shs2.475b) which could have improved the sport’s standards here until 2017.

While in his senior four at Busoga College Mwiri, Benzo earned his first international debut for East and Central Africa team during warm-ups for 1994 ICC World Cup Qualifier in Nairobi, Kenya. The Tornado player was part of the same regional side and played in five matches at the 1997 ICC Trophy in Malaysia.

Four years later, he first appeared for Uganda at the 2001 ICC Trophy. He made 31 runs off 87 balls in his first-class debut against Namibia at the 2004 ICC Intercontinental Cup.