Itanda Kayakers won the Sunday final but the story is how they put together two outstanding performances against the same team (Bujjagali Rafters) to win the Waterfalls T20 League title.

Two players who should feature for the Cricket Cranes this year put in two fine batting displays. Riazat Ali Shah (90 not out) in the decider a day before the final and Ronald Lutaaya (116) in the final vindicating why the Elite League is something Uganda Cricket wants to make a regular local event.

Two international players Ignace Ntireganya from Rwanda and Sami Sohail from Malawi won a man of the match award each of the seven awards that were available on offer.

A tournament of this kind is in not cheap to put together, getting foreign players here, and providing accommodation, daily meals and stipends is no cheap cost. UCA had to make this investment for them to come up with a local product that can appeal to people beyond the cricket fraternity.

The battle between Riazat Ali Shah and Juma Miyagi will surely stay with many fans who were at Lugogo Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Ronald Lutaaya (R) and his mother

The century by Ronald Lutaaya was an emotional moment for many and not just himself, those are things that stay with people and make them want the next event to happen as quickly as possible.

In an economy that is still recovering from the effects of Covid, everyone is spending money wisely therefore unless you think out of the box every sponsor is looking for value for their money.

The local cricket league has been running under the radar for a very long time with little or no pomp apart from those with a vested interest but with very little value for those outside cricket.

The quality of cricket showcased by franchise teams and the opportunity of live tv and streaming raised the bar for how cricket can appeal to people beyond their inner circle.

The fan engagement opportunities for fans to win movie tickets and six packs of beer are things that can help the sport attract new followers. For most sports lovers following a new sport won’t be difficult if the product is great but there should be something that makes those moments stick with them so that next time.

The Elite League should surely get better from year to year and we hope for more lost balls.

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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