The exposure earned by the senior national women’s cricket team at their debut ICC Twenty20 Global Qualifier in Netherlands three years ago provided an eye opener to Uganda Cricket Association (UCA).
UCA is now working to improve on the structures and systems around the Lady Cricket Cranes set-up and women’s cricket in the country.
With a holistic vision to dominate the game regionally and consistently stamp their mark globally, UCA has taken its technical touch a notch higher by hiring UK-based Suraj Karavadra as the Lady Cricket Cranes head coach.
Raising the bar
“As an organisation, it has been our mission to make sure that we raise the level of our ladies’ team to make sure that they are given the best opportunity to compete on the global stage,” read part of UCA’s statement while announcing Karavadra’s appointment .
“I am very excited to be working with a group of very talented cricketers,” said Karavadra.
“My passion has always been for women’s cricket, helping them cross boundaries, become stronger and reach new heights.”
Karavadra, who is of Indian descent, is an Elite England Cricket Board (ECB) Level III coach with specialised expertise in batting and wicket-keeping.
He has mastered his craft with vast roles in underage, men and women’s teams over the past decade at Porbandar in India, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in England and as well as the ICC Dubai High Performance camp and the UAE A & U-19 teams.
“We believe he has the right expertise to make the women’s team a force to reckon with,” UCA CEO Martin Ondeko stated.
And Karavadra is keen on raising his CV during his two-year contract to a higher stage especially in his first year where the Lady Cricket Cranes have tasks at the Kwibuka T20 in Rwanda come June as well as the ICC Africa T20 Qualifiers due September in Botswana.
Commonwealth Games dream
The pinnacle will be his return to the UK at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. “I want the team to feel inspired, to push boundaries further than ever, and as a team, reach a whole new level of success.
“I can’t wait to get started, to get to know the team, to dive into the culture, to apply my knowledge and experience and to continue the incredible legacy that the Lady Cricket Cranes have already created,” he added.
Karavadra will arrive in Kampala next week but he may not be a stranger here since his great grandfather settled in Uganda to do business in Jinja.
“I am now the fourth generation in my family to be in Uganda, after the third generation left over, 50 years ago,” a delighted Karavadra said in a post via his Instagram handle.
“Finally I get to swap the cold and rain for the warmth of Africa!” he added as remarks of applause flowed in from senior Emirati players Chirag Suri and CP Rizwan.
Karavadra At A Glance
Date of Birth: June 23, 1991
Place of Birth: Luton, England
Ethnic Background: Indian
Coaching Grade: ECB Level 3
Favourite Car: Hindustan Ambassador
Favourite Food: Chinese & Sushi
Hidden Talents: A Level 3 in Sports Massage
Languages: Gujarati, Hindi, English, German
Must-Have. Insulin Pen
(Type 1 Diabetic)