The dream for any player is to play for their national team at major global events but when you start out as an umpire the future isn’t very clear.

Simon Kintu started umpiring in the cricket-mad Busoga College Mwiri, standing in inter-house matches.

The cricket teacher, George Kapere, realized his potential early enough and always made sure he stood in difficult matches to ensure that there was no chaos during play.

“I joined Mwiri in 1997 and I shared a decker with the famous Kenneth Kamyuka and his love for cricket got me because he always bought oranges and use to ask me to give him throwdowns with the oranges

“However, a lot of kids played cricket and were much better than I was and somehow I found comfort in umpiring from the local Wembley games to inter-house games and then school trial games,” Kintu recalls of how he got into umpiring.

The regional U-15 tournament offered Simon his first taste of international cricket. He made his debut on the international scene and that gave him the encouragement to continue on that journey.

I had umpired alot of local games in our league but the opportunity to umpire in an international game was the ultimate reward. The experience is on a whole new level and it gave me the enscouragement to keep progressing with umpiring.

Simon Kintu

Since Uganda is not an ODI nation, the opportunities for umpires in international cricket are pegged on the performance of their national teams.

Nations such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Namibia have had their umpires progressing faster because their countries are ODI nations.

For that reason, it took Kintu over eleven years since his international cricket debut to get a shot at a major ICC event. He was part of the playing technical team at the just concluded ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers in Kigali Rwanda where worked with three umpires from Zimbabwe and two from Namibia an experience that was unforgettable and a long time coming.

The exeprience was on another level, nothing I have ever experienced. I worked with guys who have umpired more than 20 T20i games and for me this was my first time at this level.

The level of scruinty and preparation is a notch higher from what we are used to back at home. I think on an individual level, the biggest take away for me was the learning and from hereon, the only way is up for me and my colleagues.

We have to be prepared when the call up comes so that whoever is called up is a good representative for Uganda.

Simon Kintu

Simon Kintu is the current chairman of the Umpires and Scorers Association and he knows that he has to be part of the solution if Uganda is to have many more umpires at global events.

We have a lot of young umpires interested in umpiring and it’s important that the lessons picked from this event help us better prepare the next generation.

Our national team has started to do better so as they progress so should we as umpires because once we get to ODI, we should have a group of umpires ready to step up. Therefore, we should continoulsy educate eachother as a group and also find opportunities for exposure rather than wait on only ICC events.

Simon Kintu

Kintu waited for eleven long years to get his time in the sun but once he got his chance he was ready and grabbed it with both hands. He was able to stand in at least five games at the tournament and left a good inspiration on his supervisors.

In a very competitive field like umpiring, you only have one chance to impress and from his performances, Kintu will surely get another invitation especially with a busy schedule coming up in 2022.

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

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think