Cricket Cranes gaffer Tikolo out of contract

Wednesday December 25 2019

Steve Tikolo endured a tough start to his reign

Steve Tikolo endured a tough start to his reign as Uganda coach but is gradually steering the Cricket Cranes into a formidable outfit and force to reckon with. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO  

By INNOCENT NDAWULA

Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo is back home in Kenya enjoying the festive season albeit with no job, for now. The legendary Kenyan disclosed to Daily Monitor that he is out of contract with Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) but his heart is at peace.
“I have been out of contract since November,” Tikolo, spotting his trademark grin, told this reporter.

“My work with the team in Oman (International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Challenge League B) was a bonus - whichever way you want to call it. Right now I am enjoying my time with family and I am looking to do other things.”
When poked further if he would stay on if UCA put another offer on the table, Tikolo, who started his reign as Cricket Cranes coach in May 2016, tactfully kept his cards close to his chest. “We will cross that bridge when that times comes. Right now I want to enjoy every moment with close friends and family in Nairobi. I hardly see them during the year,” said the gentle giant, who played in five ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments.

Daily Monitor already knows that franchises in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Oman and Qatar are already waiting in the wings to woo Tikolo into their respective set-ups and what a colossal loss it would be for Uganda now that the Cricket Cranes were starting to look like the part if the last outing is anything to go by.
For the first time in eons, Uganda finished unbeaten at an ICC event – managing to script a maiden and historic triumph against the old enemy (Kenya) and highly rated Hong Kong along the way. “There are plans to renew the contract. Discussions were held. We are in the final stages of concluding,” disclosed UCA Chief Executive Officer Martin Ondeko.
When poked further on the duration of the new contract, whether it would be tournament based and some other finer details, Ondeko didn’t reveal much. “We are still discussing those terms. We have not concluded,” said the former national player.

A close source to the association also revealed that the Selectors Committee and Technical Team were all in unison about Tikolo’s contract extension for at least another year but some board members were hell bent on only bringing in the gaffer two months to the next ICC tournament.
Uganda has a busy 2020 looming with trips to India (February) and Africa Cricket Association (ACA) Twenty20 Cup in Nairobi (March), the ICC Africa T20 World Cup Qualifier B in Rwanda (June/July), Tour to Zimbabwe (July) and finally the ICC CWC Challenge League B in Uganda.

TIKOLO AT A GLANCE
Name: Stephen Ogonji Tikolo
Age: 48 years old
Residence: Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality: Kenyan
Nickname: Gunnzie, Black Master
Batting style: Right-handed
Bowling style: Right-arm off spin
Role: Batting all-rounder
ODI debut: February 18, 1996 vs India
Last ODI: Jan 23, 2014 vs. Netherlands
Teams coached: Uganda, Kenya, Kenya U-19, Kenya Women, Uganda, Rwenzori Warriors (Uganda), Southern Rocks (Zimbabwe).

FORMER COACHES
January 1998 - April 2001:
William Kamanyi (Ugandan)
April 2001 - December 2003:
Andrew Meya (Ugandan)
December 2003 - August 2004:
Tom Tikolo (Kenyan)
September 2004 - March 2007:
Henry Okecho (Ugandan)
April 2007 - November 2007:
Sam Walusimbi (Ugandan)
November 2007 - July 2008:
Francis Ndege Otieno (Kenyan)
July 2008 - October 2010:
Barney Mohammed (South African)
October 2010 - January 2011:
Shukri Conrad (South African)
February 2011 – May 2013:
Martin Suji (Kenyan)
May 2013 – July 2013:
Henry Okecho (Ugandan)
July 2013 – February 2014:
Johan Rudolph (South African)
April 2014–August 2014:
Davis Turinawe (Ugandan)
August 2014 - January 2015:
Peter Kirsten (South African)

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indawula@ug.nationmedia.com

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