Memories galore for Ceylon Lions after MCC Tour

Memorabilia. UCA CEO Alan Mugume (L) hands over a Cricket for Development Foundation Jersey to MCC captain George Thurstance at the Serenity Oval in Kamengo, Mpigi District. PHOTO/CEYLON LIONS MEDIA

What you need to know:

  • Club captain Ruwan Jayaratne led from the front with all-round performances in both games; snaring 2  wickets for 24 runs and finishing as the second top scorer with 17. There were no wickets for him in the afternoon game but he top scored with 19 runs and was quick to highlight the lessons learned

The timing couldn’t have been better. As Uganda celebrated their 60th Independence Anniversary, a sports sanctuary that is hardly one-year-old birthed a new baby – The Cricket For Development Foundation (CDF) in Kamengo, Mpigi District.

The day was fun-packed and full of smiles; first from the action on the newly-erected Serenity Oval where the hosts Ceylon Lions locked horns with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in two exciting and closely-contested T20 blitzes.

The visitors from the United Kingdom triumphed by 27 runs and four wickets in the respective first and second matches but there were some worthy performances from Ceylon Lions that had the young pioneer recruits from CDF giggling and cheering endlessly.

Learned lessons
Club captain Ruwan Jayaratne led from the front with all-round performances in both games; snaring 2  wickets for 24 runs and finishing as the second top scorer with 17. There were no wickets for him in the afternoon game but he top scored with 19 runs and was quick to highlight the lessons learned.

“Despite being on the losing end twice, we pushed MCC hard,” said Jayaratne, who is an opening batsman and wily spinner.

“The English were very competitive. They showed maturity in the way they adjusted to our conditions. It was a great experience and I thought it was a brave effort from us. Our spinners did well and if we can work on our fielding and power hitting more, it will be helpful going forward.”

Day’s highlight
But away from the oval, the traffic-stopper of the day was when Sri Lankan High Commissioner Kana V. Kananathan, Alam Group’s Abid Alam, Ven Bhanthe Buddharakkitha of Uganda Buddhist Temple and Cephas Birungyi of Kabale’s Cephas Inn alongside MCC’s contingent launched the foundation and first classroom that will shape the future of the children in Kamengo many years – more than Uganda’s current independence anniversary.

“I want Serenity Group to work towards expanding the facilities so that they reach their goal of improving the quality of the lives here through learning and playing cricket,” said Ambassador Kananathan.

At least 100 children participated in the day’s activities and they will be excited to know that Serenity Group have plans to upgrade the facilities with; more sports disciplines arenas, training nets, dressing rooms, media and accommodation to the International level so that the oval becomes a contender for hosting International Cricket Council (ICC) games.

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