As Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) continue to push for their ultimate goal- One Day International (ODI) status, the process to streamline their programmes and structures continues in earnest.
Less than a month after UCA handed ‘Grade A’ contracts to 12 players that had impressed since the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings were relaxed last October, the association has boldly come out to cater for 12 other players that will form the core of the Uganda ‘A’ side.
Akankwasa to captain
Former U-19 skipper Frank Akankwasa, a hard-hitting all-rounder, has been given the mantle of captain in a side that has senior player Jonathan Ssebanja, another ex-Baby Cricket Cranes skipper Derrick Bakunzi, Richard Agamiire, who was part of the successful voyage to Oman for Round One of the ICC World Cricket Challenge League B in 2019 and hardworking paceman Harsh Panchal. “We would like to look after everyone,” exclaimed coach Laurence Mahatlane.
“Unfortunately we cannot do it for all of them at once. We have to remunerate them as per the work they put in. In the end, our aim is to cater for 32 players.”
The contracts, reportedly in millions of shillings, will run for a year but there will be evaluation every three months. A person with a Grade A contract can fall back to a Uganda A contract and viceversa.
“It depends on the hard work and discipline that players exhibit amongst other things that form the team’s culture. I am happy for the guys that have made the cut. Many are graduates from the U-19 sde. It is a lesson for others not to give up and keep working hard,” chipped in UCA CEO Martin Ondeko.
Namibia Tour itinerary
Elsewhere, Uganda’s itinerary for Castle Lite Series against Namibia has been released. The bilateral series scheduled to run from April 2-9 in Windhoek has three Twenty20 Internationals and two 50-over (Limited Over) matches penciled as both countries prepare for challenging international endeavours in the next couple of months.
Cricket Cranes 21-man contingent is set to arrive in Windhoek on Good Friday and will play a T20I in the afternoon on Holy Saturday.
They return to the Wanderers Cricket Ground on Easter Monday with two highly-anticipated T20Is that will form the core of the series and forthwith have ICC ranking status. On April 7, codes will be changed from T20s to the 50-over format as the nations pit their wits against each other in the day-long format.
The other rubber will be played on April 8 before the team flies out of the Hosea Kutako International Airport on April 9.
The short tour has a bumper schedule and it will forthwith test the team’s fitness levels, mental fortitude and abilities in the coastal desert nation of Southern Africa.
UGANDA’S TOUR TO NAMIBIA
April 2: Arrival in Windhoek
April 3: 2pm: T20 International
April 4: Rest Day/Training (2-5pm)
April 5: T20Is (10am & 2pm)
April 6: Rest Day/Training (2-5pm)
April 7: 9am: 50-over Match
April 8: 9am: 50-over Match
April 9: Departure
*All Games & Training Sessions Will Be Streamed Live & Played At The Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek/ Turf Net
Uganda A Contracts
Frank Akankwasa (captain), Gerald
Mubiru, Trevor Bukenya, Jonathan
Ssebanja, Siraj Nsubuga, Jonathan Kizza,
Rogers Olipa, Derrick Bakunzi, Steven
Wabwose, Richard Agamire, Perry
Wazombe and Harsh Panchal.
Cricket Cranes Contracts
Frank Nsubuga, Simon Ssesazi, Ronak
Patel, Fred Achelam, Kenneth Waiswa,
Riazat Ali Shah, Cosmas Kyewuta,
Dinesh Nakrani, Henry Ssenyondo,
Emmanuel Hasahya, Arnold Otwani and
Brian Masaba (captain)