When hosts Uganda suffered the painful relegation to the ICC World Cricket League Division Four last May, coach Steve Tikolo did the inevitable.
The process of losing some long-serving members to pave way for fresh blood began to take place last October at the Cricket Builds Hope tournament in Rwanda.
Humble beginnings it was as Kenneth Waiswa immediately graduated from being the U-19 captain to now forming the core of the senior men’s side - The Cricket Cranes.
It has been a thorough five-year journey for the brave all-rounder to Cricket Cranes’ folder.
“It feels great to have made the senior side after a long wait,” the Jinja-bred talent told SCORE in an interview after he made the final team to represent Uganda at the ICC WCL Division Four showpiece from April 29 - May 6 in Malaysia.
The former Jinja Secondary School student began national duties in the U-16 national side in 2013, going through hands of coaches Habibu Mugalula, Davis Turinawe, Henry Okecho, Johan Rudolph, Peter Kirsten and Tikolo.
Waiswa may have missed out on playing with his age mates at this year’s ICC U-19 Youth World Cup in New Zealand early this year but for his consistency, he was selected to attend a six-month program at the Tatenda Taibu International High Performance in Liverpool, England from June - November.
He however needs £9,180 (Shs48m) to attend the lucrative course by former Zimbabwe ODI captain Taibu. “There is 80 percent chance I will make but I need to start converting that into money to be able to make it there,” he said.
Before Liverpool, Waiswa’s first task is to vindicate his selection when Uganda battles for the two promotion tickets against five other nations in Malaysia.
“It’s going to be my first ICC tournament for the senior side and I will be looking to do my best than ever before in all three departments. I know we will come up victorious.”
He was dropped for the botched Kampala job last year but he had no regrets. “I believe my game lacked a few attributes last May which I have worked on like death bowling and good variations plus maturity with the bat.” Waiswa may be just 20 but this mid-order batsman’s attitude suits Uganda’s desires in Malaysia.
“I am someone who can build an innings. And if need requires me to, I can also clear the boundaries,” Waiswa boasted.
During the U-19 World Cup qualifiers, Waiswa was MVP with 249 runs, 11 wickets and two catches.