Uganda Cricket Association might be one of the worst-hit federations when it comes to the recently announced sports ban.
Uganda Cricket has had 3 teams preparing for various engagements all slated for September.
The Cricket Cranes are due to be in Jersey in September to try and make sure they can stay on top of the Group B of the Challenge League. The team has put in a lot of work since the arrival of South African coach Laurence Mahatlane but with the recent ban on sports, they will have to take a forced break of six weeks.
The Lady Cricket Cranes had just started working with their new headcoach Suraj Karavadra from the UK and unfortunately missed out on the Kwibuka tournament due to Covid and now will have to take an extended break due to the ban on sports.
The U19 boys had just started practice as well with their coaches Robinson Turinawe and Ivan Thawithemwira as they prepared for the World Cup qualifiers in Nigeria in September. Uganda has made two appearances at the U19 World Cup in 2004 and 2006 but have failed to make the grade since then.
All these different teams have stopped their preparations which puts Uganda at a disadvantage compared to its opponents in the same tournaments who are able to practice.
However, the CEO of Uganda Cricket, Martin Ondeko, is optimistic about what lies ahead.
With the directive from the government, we can do much but we have made a request to NCS for special dispensation to prepare our sides. I am certain we are not the only sports that need this privilege so we hope NCS can give us guidance on way forward.
We have also written to the ICC to inform them of the situation back home and they will make a decision about these events early next week. However, as an association, we had already planned to have our players put in bubbles before the total ban on sports came into effect. We shall wait to hear from NCS and we plan accordingly but for now, the teams are being kept busy by the respective coaches online.Martin Ondeko, CEO Uganda Cricket Association.
Uganda has missed out on international cricket for the last year due to the pandemic and it will take a lot of development back if the teams are not able to compete this year. The Lady Cricket Cranes and U19 boys last had a taste of international cricket in 2019 and this has an effect on the progression of teams as players lose interest in playing for their country.
With the lockdown supposed to end on July 30, this will mean that Uganda Cricket will have a minimum of four weeks to ensure that it prepares its sides adequately for the tournament due in August.