Champions Damani waiting in agony for some game time

Friday November 22 2019

Aziz Damani have had nothing to cheer about

Aziz Damani have had nothing to cheer about both on and off the field as they haven’t played any rubber in the UCA 50-Over Men’s National Cricket League since September 1. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO 

By DARREN A. KYEYUNE & INNOCENT NDAWULA

Often, the Uganda Premier League secretariat has been on the end of a bashing from the public and media for the inconsistencies in the top-flight club football fixtures.

In men’s cricket, two-time defending champions Aziz Damani have been left in a state of quagmire as the club has not played any fixture in the National Men’s Division One 50-Over League in 80 days.

The 2017 and 2018 league winners Damani are stuck in thought as they haven’t played a match since completing the seven-game first round with a seven-wicket win over SKLPS at Kyambogo Oval on September 1.

“Our season has been completely disrupted by the unavailability of grounds,” Damani’s coach Jackson Ogwang reacted, “Imagine, we haven’t played a single second round game. Apart from all that, we tie. But we are still unbeaten and ready to defend our title.”

Aziz Damani is second on the charts with 38 points from seven matches while leaders Challengers have 50 points from 10 outings, their most recent outing - a 405-run victory over Tornado - built on Arnold Otwani’s 108-ball 115 ton five days ago.

This paper understands that the fixture between these two teams have failed to take place last Saturday with Challengers saying “some of their players couldn’t play as they were busy with ‘the Black Friday’ promotions as they work with Jumia.”

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Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) Games’ Committee again had hoped to reschedule the encounter for today but Challengers still turned it down.

“We can’t play on a Friday, we all have jobs and other younger players are doing exams,” Challengers’ batsman Arthur Kyobe stated.

“We need the game to be played on Sunday.”

The Games’ Committee is now stuck because Damani is seven matches away from completing the season while the rest are either past or near the half-way mark of the second round of the season.

“We haven’t played club cricket for two months now. Other teams are two games away from finishing the season but we still have seven games to play,” Ogwang pondered.

Damani has nine players on the national team which travels next week to Oman for the ICC World Cup Challenge League B Round One.

“If we don’t play this weekend, then we can only play the league again from December 14 on wards,” he added.

Efforts to reach a number of UCA Games’ Committee members were futile and one who spoke to us on conditions of anonymity, told this paper, that they were in a meeting to discuss the matter in subject last evening.

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