Howzat Umpire! Kintu raises the dreaded finger to signal an end to a batsman’s innings during one of the games Gahanga Stadium last week. PHOTO/ICC AFRICA

|

Kintu savours ICC umpiring debut at Africa WC Tourney

What you need to know:

  • International Duty. Ugandan umpire Kintu shared roles with Namibian Claus Schumacher as Tanzania defeated Mozambique by 87 runs at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda during the ICC T20 World Cup Africa Sub-regional Qualifier B on November 2.  
  • Despite Kintu and other seasoned individuals like Patrick Makumbi scaling the heights, umpiring in Uganda still has a long innings to play.

Referees in football or umpires in basketball and cricket rarely make headlines unless they have made wrong calls.

Actually, professional sport continues to minimise or unwind their errors by introducing a support cast assisted by technology.

So for Jinja-bred cricket umpire Simon Kintu to attract attention, then it is duly worth it. He is still over the moon after he recently made his umpiring debut at an International Cricket Council (ICC) sanctioned event last week. 

Debut joy
He shared roles with Namibian Claus Schumacher as Tanzania defeated Mozambique by 87 runs at the Gahanga International Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Africa Sub-regional Qualifier B on November 2.   

“My debut at the ICC has been a journey that has taken me 13 years of continuous growth and learning, nothing at this level but a call-up is given to only those that are deserving,” Kintu said in an interview.

Nearly one-and-half-decade, one would think its what it took Kintu but he opines differently. 
“There are so many umpires who have stood in longer than me and they have never gotten a chance at a major regional ICC tournament and yet they are good umpires.

“I think this is the right time for me. I am not old enough to feel that I have waited for so long. I am just going to continue working so hard,” noted the 38-year-old. Kintu first encountered the Gentleman’s Game in 1997 when he had joined Busoga College Mwiri and he got fused in when he shared a decker with Kenneth Kamyuka, arguably one of Uganda’s greatest cricketers.

Yet, Kintu did not turn out as a stellar batsman or bowler. “I was only a junior in senior one so Kamyuka always asked me to toss him oranges and that is how I started to get interested in cricket since I wasn’t good as a player.”

“Luckily, I had mastered the rules of cricket so well and the cricket teacher George Kapere encouraged me to be the school umpire and from my senior three till I left Mwiri in S6.

First  bite
Kintu always stood in charge of the inter-house finals and in 2007, he enrolled for his first umpiring course by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) staged by former Kenya Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association head Subhash Modi. 

Later that year, he got his national league umpiring debut in a gruelling derby between Wanderers and Tornado and took charge of the 2010 U-15 Boys ICC Regional tournament.

Kintu, who would later become UCA Umpires and Scorers Association head in 2020, has since been at the Kwibuka in Rwanda, Saudi Arabia’s 2018 Tour of Uganda, Takashinga’s 2014 Tour To Uganda, Victoria T20 Series in 2019 and this year’s Pearl of Africa T20 Tri-Series in Entebbe.  “This exposure to events outside Uganda helps improve your confidence as an individual as well as widening your knowledge through sharing experiences with colleagues,” he added.

Despite Kintu and other seasoned individuals like Patrick Makumbi scaling the heights, umpiring in Uganda still has a long innings to play.

“I have realised that there is a big gap in the experience especially when it comes to how to work. The processes involved at this level are more superior to what we are used to at home and as a leader, for the umpires, I intend to try and close this gap to better prepare our umpires for future engagements,” adds Kintu.

Kintu at a glance

Full name: Simon Kintu
Dob: July 6, 1983
Place: Bubalule, Mayuge District
Batting style: Right-hand
Bowling style: Right-arm off-break
Umpiring level: ICC Africa Panel

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.