Cricket is a gentleman’s game and many a time people give back to the sport without hope of being rewarded.
But after more than four decades of serving the noble game, veteran coach and administrator William Luwagga Kamanyi has reaped the fruits of sacrifice and hard work.
The Sports Science lecturer at Kyambogo and Makerere University was named winner of the Global International Cricket Council (ICC) Lifetime Service Award for 2013 on Friday.
The 71-year-old earned nomination to the shortlist presented to the ICC Prestigious Panel of Judges after he won the same award for the Africa region.
“What can I say,” Kamanyi replied when congratulated. “I was happy when I was told I had won the award at the continental level and now I am over the moon my works have been rated better than all those submitted from other regions.”
Always a winner
But Kamanyi is not new to the world of big accolades. He represented Uganda at the Common Wealth Games in Perth in 1962, where he set the national long jump record that stood for 14 years. But even after scaling those heights, he chose to concentrate on cricket.
And he has been a winner on the oval as well. Kamanyi played for the national team from 1971-1983, a time when he held the national long jump record and won several East and Central Africa Cricket Championship (ECACC) titles as a fearless all-rounder.
He coached the U-19 boys’ team to East African glory in 2001 in Nairobi and also served as national coach for some spells. The tough but amiable veteran also served as physiotherapist to the U-19 side that played in the ICC World Cup in Bangladesh in March 2004.
“We shall organise an event which will involve a cricket game to congratulate him on this achievement,” said UCA operations manager Martin Ondeko.