Baby Cricket Cranes coach Jackson Oyuku Ogwang will live a heartbroken man until Uganda’s next qualification attempt at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup in 2021.
Born and bred in Naguru, Ogwang is from same background with 95% of the U-19 side here in Windhoek, Namibia for the ICC U-19 Africa World Cup Qualifier. The rest of the other players are the neighbouring Nakawa Quarters and Jinja Road Police Station Units.
For the natives of Lugogo’s neighbouring and biggest sporting slum, Naguru is a poor man’s Las Vegas - every dream is valid and more often than not comes true. From boxing, which is one of Ogwang’s favourite pastimes to cricket which puts food on table for the youthful coach, nothing is impossible - hard work is the name of the game.
Ogwang takes credit for what many of the Baby Cricket Cranes think is their right to be here in Namibia. His ever-welcoming nature, big arms that have tossed a thousands of balls in the nets and rallying voice that has urged many to give every ball they face a straight bat, Ogwang is awe-inspiring.
Sort of dissent
But he feels there ‘has been sort of dissent’ from his ‘special family’ once the U-19 boys stepped on the Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner to Hosea Kutako International Airport.
“We would be going to the World Cup but the guys have not taken instructions to the dot,” regrets Ogwang, a giant of a man whose team started with two wins against arch-foes Kenya and West Africans Sierra Leone before going down to Nigeria and hosts Namibia.
“I feel bad. I feel very bad. There is something heavy on my heart. Look at the talent we have in this squad. Man for man, we deserved not to loose to any side here. It is absurd we left our ‘A’ game in Kampala. I will make my report and make some tough recommendations.”
By press-time, Ogwang and assistant coach Lawrence Ssematimba’s Nago Boys - as Naguru products prefer to call themselves - were scheduled to take on Tanzania in a game seeking to restore dented pride.
Nigeria were in pole position to notch the continent’s lone spot to the World Cup where they will join African Test Nations; Zimbabwe and hosts South Africa.
Players and where they come from:
1. Frank Akankwasa (Naguru) 2. Zephaniah Arinaitwe (Jinja Road Police Station) 3. John Gabula (Naguru) 4. Ronald Opio (Naguru) 5. Simon Oketcho (Naguru) 6. Juma Miyaji (Naguru) 7. Munir Ismail (Naguru) 8. Pascal Murungi (Nyakasura) 9. Trevor Bukenya (Naguru) 10. Edwin Nuwgaba (Jinja Road Police Station) 11. Ashraf Ssenkubuge (Naguru) 12. Ramathan Ochimi (Naguru) 13. Perry Wazombe (Jinja Road Police Station) 14. Cosmas Kyewuta (Jinja Road Police Station