Sunday February 9 2014

Rudolph heads back to S. Africa with little or no hope of returning

Despite assurance from UCA, Rudolph knows that

Despite assurance from UCA, Rudolph knows that his future as national coach is uncertain. Photo by EDDIE Chicco 

By Innocent Ndawula & Darren Allan Kyeyune


The old English adage says; ‘Numbers don’t lie’.
And for out-of-contract national cricket coach Johan Rudolph those numbers don’t do him any favours.
Under the South African’s tutelage, Uganda won just two of 17 matches overall at the ICC Twenty20 & ODI World Cup Qualifier tournaments in UAE and New Zealand.
No wonder a dark cloud has been hovering over Rudolph’s future as an employee of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA). The grapevine is ripe with word that UCA will not renew the 53-year-old’s contract.
“He (Rudolph) is too expensive for us now and we don’t need him as the national team has no engagements,” opined a stakeholder that preferred anonymity.
But UCA CEO Justin Ligyalingi poured cold water on the allegations of Rudolph’s exit.
“No, he (Rudolph) is still part of us,” Ligyalingi answered when asked whether Rudolph will return to Kampala after he left for a break in South Africa on Wednesday.
“It is true that his seven-month contract ended on January 31 but who said we cannot afford him? We haven’t lost any funding. We were in Division III and are still in the same division. He has to return, file his report and formalise everything.”
A close source to this paper intimated that Rudolph was on an estimated monthly salary of $3,000 (Shs7.4m) exclusive of bonuses and utilities. Uganda were due to know their ICC status after the international body held a board of directors meeting in Singapore yesterday.
Like Uganda, Rudolph, too, is uncertain of his future in the Pearl of Africa. “You know, I would have loved to stay,” said the former Namibia coach before heading to South Africa. “But that is not my decision to stay. The UCA board has the final say.”

Full of belief
But even in the shadow of two dismal international outings under his watch, Rudolph believes Uganda can bounce back if the homework is done right. “There is no doubt that Uganda has the talent to match the bigger Associate sides. But we have to help the team and mainly our batsmen to get more exposure,” said Rudolph.

“Our team must also play overseas as a unit like Namibia play in South Africa and both Ireland and Scotland play in the United Kingdom.”
The fatherly figure could not hide his frustration after Uganda’s no show at the Bay of Plenty. “I was so disappointed by our performances in Tauranga. We bowled and fielded well but the batting never came together,” said the Level III coach in the company of his fiancee El Marie du Plessis, also a qualified Level I coach.

“We did a number of drills, tried a number of combinations and different game situations. “But it all did not work out. Now my fate and their (players) future lies out of our hands.”