Tough life for Cricket Cranes in bio bubble

Thursday April 01 2021
cric001 pix

Numbers Game. Coach Mahatlane’s training sessions and National Trial matches have been a whole new unique experience as the gaffer uses the breaks to empower the players with formal knowledge about targets and modern trends of the game. PHOTO/ EDDIE CHICCO

By Innocent Ndawula

In this modern world, life is hard for athletes with the ever-increasing demands of sustained success. But life has become even harder in this post Covid-19 era for the men and women whose lives are earned on the pitches, ovals and courts.
The Cricket Cranes have come to know as much since the restrictions on crowd gatherings including sports were relaxed, albeit with strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be adhered to, by the government in September.

Their lives have never been the same since the Uganda Elite League that ran from October 25 last year. Mandatory Covid Tests on a weekly basis and staying away from public gatherings has been the new normal for them.

NCS warning
But this week has been something they’ve never seen in their lives before after NCS General Secretary Dr Patrick Bernard Ogwel warned Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), during Monday’s official flag-off, not to fall into the same troubles that befell Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (Fuba) when the latter travelled to Tunisia but couldn’t play their Afrobasket games because of previously unknown Covid-19 cases found in Uganda’s camp.

UCA immediately got the 19-man provisional team and their eight travelling officials tested on Monday before checking them into a bio-bubble in Kololo. There was another test facilitated by the government yesterday ahead of the team’s travel to Namibia for the five-match Castle Lite Series tomorrow morning.

Moving from the bio-bubble to the oval for training sessions and back to the bubble for team presentations has been the story of the day since Monday and it’s not about to change until the tour ends on April 9. That will be a tough of 13 days away from the public domain.

Looming tough times
“We have told the guys to persevere because this is an important tour for us. We are looking at the big picture and we have to stay focused,” said Team Manager Jackson Kavuma.

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“Namibia Cricket have already told us to prepare for the tough times where we will only move from the ground to the hotel and back. Things like shopping and going to food courts for special meals are out of the picture. We are happy to abide by their rules because we want to benefit from the games and forge a better relationship with them as they may want to host us every year going forward.”

Coach Lawrence Mahatlane’s men play two 50-over (Limited Over) matches and three Twenty20s that have International Cricket Council (ICC)’s ranking status at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek from April 2-9.
The final 14-man squad for the tour will be announced this afternoon and the team could be subjected to more tests on arrival in Windhoek.

ITINERARY
April 2: Arrival in Windhoek
April 3: 2pm: T20 International
April 4:  Rest Day/Training (2-5pm)
April 5:  10am: T20 International
2pm: T20 International
April 6: Rest Day/Training (2-5pm)
April 7:  9am: 50-over Match
April 8:  9am: 50-over Match
April 9: Departure
NB: *All Games & Trainings Will Be At Wanderers Cricket Ground

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