There was a real boldness and sweep to the Cricket Cranes during the 2019 Oman Cricket World Cup Challenge League B tournament. Not only did the players quickly pull together, but they delivered performances that prompted a sense of Steve Tikolo being immovable.
The Kenyan coach had previously come in for some flak following a string of cringe-inducing results. Winning all five matches played in Oman was supposed to airbrush those stains from the canvas.
It did not.
Last month, Tikolo stepped down from his position as Cricket Cranes coach. The decision was widely likened to a classic case of someone jumping before they are pushed. There was always something of a suppressed horror from Uganda Cricket Association top honchos about how Cricket Cranes played with the handbrake on under Tikolo’s stewardship.
Although not nightmarishly amplified, the terrible secret had been metastasising and Tikolo knew it.
With the Kenyan gone, Ugandan cricket now finds itself having to press the reset button. This column understands that a new foreign coach will be in place before the 2020 Uganda Cricket World Cup Challenge League B takes centre-stage in late July and early August.
By that time, your columnist has it on good authority that Davis Turinawe, who has taken over the Cricket Cranes coaching reins on an interim basis, will wear the hat of Development Manager at Uganda Cricket Association.
It has always felt faintly perverse that Turinawe’s cricketing smarts have been used for a fleeting moment in his native country. This column strongly believes that, as Development Manager, Turinawe will establish entry-points, pathways and engagement opportunities sure to breathe life into Ugandan age grade cricket.
Of course, there are those who will find the appointment of Turinawe as Development Manager repulsive. A significant swathe of people have never quite forgiven him for being simmeringly resentful of past Uganda Cricket Association executives.
But the truth is that in all his delicious cruelty and ingenuity, Turinawe has always had the best interests of Ugandan cricket at heart. His hands-on approach would especially reenergise grassroots cricket across all four corners of the country and build capacity in the coaching realm.
That appointment, though, will come in the near future. For now, the interim Cricket Cranes coach has a tour of the Middle East and subcontinent to look forward to.