Hope springs eternal that the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will be curbed and normalcy will prevail for human nature.
For the sportsmen, live off the pitches, turfs, ovals and away from packed-to-the-rafters stadiums with fans singing their names hoarse has proved to be a bitter pill to take.
But with the rate of infection continuing to steadily fall, the end of Covid-19 could be a snap of a finger away and many international associations have come out of their shells to voice new provisional schedules for the events that have already been affected.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) seem to be taking the lead in following the virus’ timeline and are offering quick reactions.
“After careful evaluation of the current situation and with the health and well-being of the global cricket family the priority, all ICC qualifying events that were due to take place before June 30 were postponed subject to further review. The decision has been taken in conjunction with Members and in line with the relevant government and public health authority advice,” said ICC’s Head of Events Chris Tetley, in a statement.
ICC decisions directly affected the Cricket Cranes – Uganda’s senior national men’s cricket team – that was scheduled to wrestle for honours with several other Associate ad Affiliate members.
Tournaments affected include; The ICC Men ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub-Regional Qualifier – Africa that had been slated April 27 – May 4, 2020 at Stellenbosch, South Africa which has been postponed to October 2020 (Date & Venue – TBC). Consequently, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Regional Final – Africa has been postponed to December 2020 (Date & Venue – TBC).
The Africa Cricket Association (ACA) T20 Cup earlier scheduled for March 20-28 was also called off with no new tourney dates availed.
“The ICC will continue to monitor the situation closely with members, hosts and participating countries for events happening after June 2020,” added Tetley.
The statement means that Uganda is still scheduled to host the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League B in August 2020 with Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey and Kenya expected to continue their fight for a spot at the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
And with a bumper schedule looming at the back end of the year, the Cricket Cranes haven’t gone to sleep with assistant coach Jackson Ogwang leading the way in helping the team stay in shape and focused on the job at hand.
“Hope we are all well, staying safe and following all the precautionary measures. Tough times but I hope we are getting at least an hour or 30 minutes daily to exercise and keep fit,” read Ogwang’s message on the National Team Whatsapp Forum seen by this reporter.
“On that note, as we run down our quarantine days, I will be sharing some batting, bowling and fielding videos that will help us keep our minds on the game and hopefully pick something out of the videos that can help us improve some aspects of our game.”
Ogwang’s first drill showed how one can play spin on a deteriorating wicket that is turning big and has indifferent bounce.
“The concept I intended to tackle was whether the batter could create a successful game plan to overcome uncontrollable conditions,” explained Ogwang.
Daily Monitor has learnt that several players are undertaking personal daily workout sessions and with the coach now monitoring and involved, albeit online, the expected defeat of Covid-19 will find the Cricket Cranes players in a good place ready for their international meets.