Simon Ssesazi in action during the second round of the Challenge League B League at Lugogo oval, Kampala. Credit: John Batanudde

Overview:

During his Primary two, Simon Ssesazi represented East Kololo Primary school during the mini schools’ cricket program and largely impressed, that was the turning point.

Uganda Cricket Cranes opening Batsman Simon Ssesazi hit a record 148 mark for his Aziz Damani club during a recent league match against Kutchi Tigers at the Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala city.

This is the highest mark that Ssesazi has scored in his otherwise industrious cricket career thus far.

In this very duel, Aziz Damani tallied 402 to win the contest.

Simon Ssesazi executes what he does best with the Bat Credit: John Batanudde

The batting ace was left delighted for the personal feat as he targets career higher scores.

“I am happy that I batted 148 which is my highest score ever in cricket and this was my best game so far” he revealed.

Ssesazi hails from a typical sporting background, the last born in the family of nine children.

Christened as Star Alliance Boss, Ssesazi was born to Joseph Kakooza and Hellen Tumushabe on 20th August 1996.

He was inspired to play Cricket, hitherto tagged as the Gentleman’s game by his elder brothers Ronald Ssemanda and Henry Ssenyondo, who have also served the national team diligently for some good time.

Simon Ssesazi Credit: John Batanudde

Ssesazi was born and bred in Naguru – Kampala, a rich sporting hub that produced many talented sportsmen.

In fact, he has also played Tennis, Badminton, Hockey and Basketball, all games that are accommodated at Lugogo sports village.

“I decided to concentrate on Cricket because it was more of a team sport than Tennis or Badminton. Perhaps, I also play Hockey and Basketball. At the moment, I dedicate much of my time on Cricket” he remarks of his love for Cricket.

Simon Ssesazi shows off some of the awards won Credit: John Batanudde
Simon Ssesazi on duty during a Cricket Cranes contest Credit: John Batanudde

Early Days:

Ssesazi started batting as young as five years old.

In Primary two, he represented East Kololo Primary school during the mini schools’ cricket program and largely impressed, that was the turning point.

Today, the rest as they say is now history. Ssesazi is a main-stream member of the for club and country, arguably the current outstanding batsman.

“I started playing Cricket at Lugogo at 5 years. I used to follow my brothers. In P2, I played during the Mini schools’ cricket program whilst I was at East Kololo primary school.” He recollects.

Simon Ssesazi batting

Ssesazi completed primary school at East Kololo before he progressed to Mukono Parents Secondary School for O and A level education.

He is currently a third year student at Kyambogo University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Development studies.

On how he balances school with the demanding schedule of cricket, Ssesazi attributes it to proper planning.

“I plan very well so as I balance school with Cricket schedule. I strike a balance between books via-a-vis training and matches” he adds.

Uganda Cricket head coach Lawrence Mahatlane congratulates Simon Ssesazi after a duel Credit: John Batanudde

Ssesazi made his senior cricket Cranes debut in 2018 away to Malaysia in a game Uganda lost.

“My first game with the senior team was way back in 2018 against Malaysia away. Being my first match, I got a few nerves at the start but grew in confidence as the game progressed. Sadly, we lost the game” he recalls vividly.

The two brothers Ssemanda and Ssenyondo remain his local idols as Jamaican Christopher Henry Gayle (playing for West Indies) is the international role model.

Henry Ssenyondo gestures during a match. He is one of the brothers for Ssesazi who inspired and motivated him Credit: John Batanudde

“Gyle (Chris) is my international role model as he bats in all formats in a positive approach across 360 range. He is difficult to predict and this is the same way I have built my game. You cannot tell what I will play next” Ssesazi adds.

Christopher Henry Gayle is another role model for Simon Ssesaz (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Detailed Profile:

  • Full Names: Simon Ssesazi
  • Nick-Names: Star Alliance Boss, JAB
  • Parents: Joseph Kakooza & Hellen Tumushabe
  • Date of Birth: 20th August 1996
  • Place of Birth: Naguru, Kampala
  • Role Models: Ronald Ssemanda, Henry Ssenyondo & Chris Gyle (West Indies)
  • Education: East Kololo Primary School (P1-P7), Mukono Parents (S1-S6), Kyambogo University (3rd Year Student, Development Studies)
  • Cricket Debut: Aged 5 years
  • Cricket Cranes First match: In 2018 against Malaysia
  • Key Attribute: Batting
  • Other sports: Tennis, Badminton, Hockey, Basketball
  • Best match: Kutchi Tigers Vs Damani (148) highest mark ever (11th September 2022)
  • Current Club: Aziz Damani Cricket Club
  • Other clubs: Africa Cricket Club, KICC, Charity Cricket Club, Wanderers Cricket Club
  • Difficult match: Kenya (World Challenge League B) – Home pressure 86
  • Achievements: Winner 2022 Africa Cup, Outstanding Bowler, Best Batsman, Best Fielder in different Cricket tournaments, Two Fortebet Real Stars Monthly Accolades, Cricket has provided him with money to pay tuition fees, taken care of parents and personal well-being
  • Favorite Dish: Matooke and Ground-Nuts
  • Daily Routine customs: Early morning prayer at home, Breakfast between 7 AM – 6 AM, Execution of a Holy cross before entering
  • Key antics during action: Unpredictability during batting, Quick change of plans
  • Dream car: Jeep M 4 Discovery Mercedes
  • Dream Phone: I-Phone 14
Simon Ssesazi walks from the dressing rooms at the Entebbe Cricket Oval for training (Credit: David Isabirye)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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