Roger Mukasa
Cricket Cranes stars Riazah Ali Shah, Dinesh Nakrani and Frank Nsubuga (Photo: John Batanudde)

It was another disappointing campaign for the Cricket Cranes at home but this time in a format everyone thought they are good at – Twenty20.

Despite rain affecting some of the games and to the advantage of Nigeria who earned two valuable points against a side they were certain to lose to meant that they finished ahead of the Cricket Cranes on the points log.

Fourth place finish is a low for the Cricket Cranes and they will need to find quick answers ahead of the start of the World Cricket League challenge in August.

The jinx of the matter will be the leadership of the team as Roger Mukasa has failed to lead something that has badly affected his own game. He shed a tear during the presentation function after the one-run loss to Kenya the weight of carrying a team’s expectation for the last decade finally taking a toll on him.

Roger Mukasa (Photo: John Batanudde)

Mukasa is expected to score runs because he is the best batsman on the side but once the armband was dumped on his laps he lost his mojo. A man who plays with his heart on his sleeve took over a side in transition with lots of young players coming in leaving him with very few trusted generals to rely on.

In the just concluded tournament, his vice was not starting games meaning that Roger had to make decisions on his own. The job was only going to be easy for Mukasa if he scored runs but now that he is not, it has put even his own place under fire. His batting is more important to the team and if the weight of leading is curtailing his run-scoring, it’s best the armband is taken away.

The technical team has not been spared either. Apart from the Division 4 success last year, the team has failed to make a leap up from 2017. USA who finished 4th in Kampala in 2017 are now an ODI nation while Uganda will be competing in the World Cricket Challenge group.

Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo (Photo: Aisha Nakato) Credit: AISHA NAKATO

Steve Tikolo will have a tough time convincing the board to keep faith with him as they start competing in the new World Cricket League format. Tikolo was very inspirational to the team when he worked with Martin Sujji but as his own man has failed to get best out of the team but there are some mummers of interference by the board.

All in all, the Cricket Cranes have no time to rest as the World Cricket League starts in August and the team will need to prepare for some tough assignments. There needs to be honesty among the team management to make sure that the potential of the team is fulfilled.

There is no doubt about the talent in the side but a lack of character has failed them in very close games. The coach’s contract is up for renewal end of this month and we wait to see if UCA will stick with Steve Tikolo for the long haul.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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