Cricket Cranes get  a taste of the swing

Tuesday February 23 2021

Cricket Cranes skipper Brian Masaba savours sinking the ball in the hole like he had got a wicket. Photo/Innocent Ndawula

By Innocent Ndawula

There will be a feeling of satisfaction when the Cricket Cranes’ Team Building Camp climaxes this evening in Entebbe. 

Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) sought to think out of the box by sending a 27-man provisional squad far away from the prying eyes in Kampala for a soul-searching mission ahead of a busy international schedule.

The week has been fruitful in every sense of the word with the players discovering many things about their individual games and life off the pitch – thanks in no small part to coach Lawrence Mahatlane’s rich history and background where he has been part of Cricket South Africa (CSA)’s set-up for so many years.

Mahatlane has been intent on taking the Cricket Cranes to places they’ve never been before and they will be quick to concur that they’ve seen, done and experienced new things.
Engaging exercise
From the routine schedule of formal presentations, training sessions and Match Day simulations, the monotony was broken on Thursday with an engaging exercise at the Entebbe Club where the players got to learn the ABC of golf and have a swing for the first time at a facility that also houses the cricket oval.

“We have been playing cricket for more than seven years but had never visited the golf club more so try out swinging the clubs,” said Arnold Otwani – the vice-captain of the Cricket Cranes.

“Now we are experiencing this and noticing that both games are similar in a certain way and require the same discipline. No wonder many cricketers world over play good golf as well.”
Dickson Lagoro led the team of Entebbe Club-based professionals that showed selfless gestures as they shared their skills and knowledge of the sport. 


They included Emma Ogwang, Davis Kato, Gerald Ayella, Stephen Odong and Silver Opio.

“Most of you have done so well for guys that have never played the game before. We hope that you will come back and take up the game,” said Ogwang while speaking on behalf of the club. 
“But most importantly we as Entebbe Club wish you the very best when you go to represent all of us 40 million Ugandans later this year.” 

The Cricket Cranes also visited the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC - Entebbe Zoo) on Saturday.

Former Uganda Golf Union president Innocent Kihika and Entebbe Club captain Jacob Byamukama organised the visit for the team that will tour Namibia next month ahead of a decisive trip to Jersey for the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B in September as they seek to stay atop the log in the push for One Day International status come 2022.

Why Cricket Cranes took to camping

Accoridng to assistant coach Jackson Ogwang, the team building camp was designed to create bonding as a team and get the players to deeply understand the values values, mission and vision of the national team, to make the players value the badge and understand why they play for the Cranes. Camping and team bonding are norms in cricket, especially for the top 12 ICC Test cricket playing nations.

indawula@ ug.