The lack or shortage of facilities underlines one of Uganda’s biggest sports problems. Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) normally refurbishes cricket ovals of Lugogo, Kyambogo and Entebbe when they are set to host a major continental or global event.
And something unusual is now happening. Despite no activity, UCA is meeting its end in a long-term partnership with Jinja Senior Secondary School by improving the wicket there.
The two entities renewed their Memorandum of Understanding in 2018 for three decades and UCA was to improve the wicket from astro turf to an internationally approved grass wicket. “The cricket playing facility has been very integral in this partnership,” said UCA operations manager John Trust Mayeku.
On Monday, UCA commenced the project with a ground breaking ceremony for Phase One which is laying a five-strip grass wicket.
“Note that this has been in the Association’s 10-year plan made in 2010 and has not been executed,” said Mayeku. “This phase will cost us Shs45.6m and two months in resources to be handled by Smart Bills Limited.”
Later, a fence will be raised around the ground and dressing rooms and an eating area will be constructed at the facility in Phase Two and Three.
This will be monitored by a three-man committee comprising Ranmal Keshwala, Abdul-Wahab Nyanzi and Nandikishore Patel who were selected by the UCA Board.
The facility is regarded to be the cradle of cricket in Uganda because it is where the country’s best talent and most influential figures came through via Jinja SSS, Kiira College Butiki and Busoga College Mwiri.
These include host of individuals that have diligently served Ugandan cricket in different capacities; Pithy John Ndiko, Aloysius Nainhabo, Henry Osinde, Henry Okecho, John Lubia, Michael Ndiko, Joshua Mwanja, Guy Kimbowa Lutaaya, Simon Nsubuga, Bob Ndimwibo, Ligyalingi brothers; Justine and Daniel, Kenneth Kamyuka, Charles Waiswa and Arthur Kyobe among others.