One thing is certain. Emmanuel Hasahya is playing in an era with more talented and experienced batsmen and he was a surprise inclusion for many on the final team.
But trust Cricket Cranes coach Laurence Mahatlane to throw a spanner in the works ahead of the ICC World Cup Cricket League Challenge League B in Kampala on June 17.
Hasahya, a man whose first love was playing soccer as a central midfield in football while at Iganga Boys Primary School and later Busoga College Mwiri, finds himself in the cockpit three years after he almost gave up on playing for Uganda.
“After losing my job and side business due to Covid-19, I had to play” the man nicknamed Sachman explains.
At the time, he had enrolled for a Bachelor of Industrial & Organisational Psychology degree at Makerere University. He was a medical representative at Gittoes Pharmaceuticals until 2019 but in early 2020, he became operations manager for Gex Logistics, but he was laid off due to the ramifications of the pandemic. He also had a short stint with Zembo Motorcycles later that year, but he faced conflicting loyalty between work and cricket. “I had made up my mind to play but then I got laid off in February 2021,” he says.
His solid return coincided with Mahatlane’s arrival and despite being a freelance marketer, Hasahya had since then been contracted by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA).
“I developed a positive mindset towards cricket because I had nothing to do apart from playing cricket. All jobs were gone.”
Hasahya managed to beat the challenge of lockdown and curfews by riding his bike to practice. “I developed a schedule and worked more on playing spin because it was my nemesis,” disclosed Sachman.
To fully settle into the Cricket Cranes’ set-up even after he got only 19 runs in two innings during his first major engagement - the recent Tour of Namibia - in April, team psychologist Edgar Kazibwe came in handy for the top-order batsman
“I take him as my magician. He has helped me control my temperament and showed me the various ways to overcome pressure and my emotional setbacks,” says the former Aziz Damani player.
“Kazibwe is my go-to man whenever I need someone to talk to, surprisingly whenever we talk, there’s always a difference whenever I step on the turf.”
Ahead of the limited overs’ showpiece against neighbours Kenya, Bermuda, Jersey, Italy and Hong Kong, Hasahya is relishing the spin bowlers. “Big time, my eyes light up whenever I see a spinner,” he says.
“My role is to see off the new ball that has swing and pace on it. Whenever I go through that spell and the opposition brings on a spinner, I feel relaxed and more composed and look at capitalising on any bad ball because it comes slower however much it turns,” he added.
Hasahya thinks his partnership with Ssesazi should help the Cranes make early yet big inroads in the quest for glory. “A left-right combination is a nemesis to the opposition. We all have different strengths so whoever finds it easy becomes the aggressor and the other one anchors. If given a chance to play, my plan is to approach every game as it comes. Stick to my lane and hopefully this will help me set a platform for the team to ride on,” he added.
Uganda starts its business against Jersey in Lugogo on Friday.
Full Name: Emmanuel Hasahya
Date of Birth: June 6, 1994
Jersey Number: 50
Batting Style: Right-hand
Best Batting: 138*
National Team Debut:
Tour of Namibia (April 2022)
Cricket Idols: Arthur Ziraba (Uganda) & Jos Buttler (England)
Favourite Food: Rice and Beans
Dream Holiday Destination: