The most famous cricket siblings are Australian twins Mark and Steve Waugh, both who went on to become legends of the game. South Africa has the Morkel brothers while New Zealand had Brandon McCullum and Nathan McCullum and West Indies had the Hope brothers.
On the local circuit, cricket runs through some families and here are some famous cricket siblings in Uganda.
Roger Mukasa might be the best player of his generation but his big brothers, wicketkeeper-batsman Lawrence Ssematimba and Frank Nsubuga are class players. Nsubuga, the longest-serving player on the Cricket Cranes roster, is arguably one of the best associate players – a versatile fielder, reliable low order batsman but a master off-spinner. He has been around for such a long time that he deserves a monument.
Lawrence Ssematimba, nicknamed the “Small Lion“, is the best player off-spin Uganda has ever produced, a very busy batsman who mixes sweep shots with deft touches off the reverse sweep. A stylish wicketkeeper, nothing went past Ssematimba behind the stumps and also had the ability to lead teams. No wonder the young brother Roger Mukasa had a bit of both – a wicketkeeper and off-spinner – but a strong-minded batsman. Mukasa has carried the batting burden for a generation and sometimes that has weighed down his game but the ultimate team man. For Mukasa, the team comes first. He will do anything to help the team even if it means doing the water duties. These siblings have given Uganda Cricket a lot more runs, effected run-outs and picked lots of wickets.
National team opening left-arm seamer Charles Waiswa might be the most popular of all but he is not the only one to play cricket from the family. His big brother Fred Isabirye was a competent all-rounder who featured in the 2004 U-19 World Cup for Uganda and also featured for the Cricket Cranes thereafter.
The success of the brothers rubbed off the sisters with Hellen Naudo, Betty Kalembe, and Justine Musubika all taking up the game. The trio formed a deadly force in Jinja and was part of the team that started the dominance of girls cricket by Jinja SSS. Justine Musubika, a naturally gifted swinger of the ball, would go on and become a reliable bowler for the Lady Cricket Cranes.
Ronald Ssemanda one of the most dependable all-rounders for the Cricket Cranes made a good enough impression on his young siblings for all to pick up the game. Current Cricket Cranes left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo, left arm batsman Simon Ssesazi and Lawrence Ssempijja are brothers to Ssemanda. All four brothers have featured for the Cricket Cranes with the standouts being Ssemanda and Ssenyondo.
Guy Kimbowa Lutaaya, arguably the best cricketer Uganda has produced, came from a cricketing family. While he was shining at Busoga College Mwiri, his young brother Marco Lutaaya was an inspiration for others at Makerere College while their sister Belinda Nakiganda was one of the pioneer girls of ladies cricket in Uganda and was the 1st captain of the Lady Cricket Cranes.
Jeremy and Cyrus Kibuuka Musoke are sons to the legendary William Kibuuka Musoke and both featured for Kibuli Secondary School in schools cricket. If it wasnt for them to take a break due to their University education in India both all-rounders would have played for the Cricket Cranes for a long time.
Steven Luswata and Paul Nsibuka come from the famous Luswata family with cricket in their DNA. Paul Nsibuka, the younger and more celebrated of two brothers, was part of a record opening stand with Prince David Golooba in the local league. Now both are into cricket administration with Paul Nsibuka serving on the UCA board while Steven Luswata is a trustee of the association.
Hamu Bagenda Kayondo shares more than a surname with Lady Cricket Cranes all-rounder Naomi Kayondo. The two siblings are big fans of each others career and it’s not a secret to see one cheering the other during games and on social media. Their young twin siblings Damalie and Samalie have also tried a hand at the game for Gayaza High School but are yet to feature for the national team.
Current Lady Cricket Cranes all-rounder Rita Musamali is a role model for her young sister Suzan Kakai. Kakai also an all-rounder was recently part of the successful U-19 girl’s side that won the bilateral series against Tanzania early this year.
Fast bowling runs in the family of Richard Agamire and Patricia Malemikia. Blessed with natural height, the siblings have put it to good use with the Cricket Cranes and Lady Cricket Cranes benefiting from it. Their big brother Geoffrey Ejidra is also involved in cricket as an umpire and also a wicketkeeper batsman.
Other cricket siblings include Richard Odong and Ronald Opio who feature in the local league.
Local umpire Simon Kintu is an elder brother to wicket keeper Mary Nyende Kagoya from Masaka SSS.