Shahzad Kamal Credit: John Batanudde

With the additional 21 days of lockdown coming to an end, Uganda Cricket Association is looking at activities that can be handled as soon as it is safe to do so.

Cricket was caught off guard by the Coronavirus pandemic with hardly any activities of the 2020 calendar handled.

So far two international tournaments that the Cricket Cranes were supposed to take part in have been cancelled with the other engagements in the balance until June 30 when the ICC will make a decision on them.

Locally, the leagues for both men and women were yet to bowl-off as well as the schools competitions. The Girls’ School Cricket week usually happens in April during the 1st term school holiday but all these plans have been overrun by events.

Martin Ondeko, the CEO of Uganda Cricket, says the priority is to get league games started once the government gives the greenlight on sporting activities.

“Our priority now will be getting the league matches started,” Ondeko told Kawowo Sports.

“We have lost a lot of time and getting the matches done will be a challenge. However, we have proposed a round-robin format for all three divisions for the men and for the two divisions of the ladies to ensure that we finish in time.

“We still have not done the awards ceremony for 2019 but we shall wait for the directives of government regarding parties and gatherings,” he added.

Local teams had already invested in new players for the 2020 season and this proposal could be met with some opposition especially from the games committee that is full of club representatives.

Uganda is due to host the second round of the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B tournament in August and the CEO clarified on the preparations of the team.

“We are in a good position right now and we surely do not want to lose our advantage therefore the team will embark on training once its safe to do so. Some of the countries supposed to come here in August such as Italy were badly affected by the pandemic so we shall wait for guidance from the ICC.”

The return of local cricket will be a welcome gesture for players who have been starved of action. Division three clubs, for example, last had an opportunity to play cricket in July last year when they completed their season.

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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