The history of Challengers Cricket Club starts with Taha Syed without whom there would have been no Challengers.

Taha put together a great team to push the dominance of Aziz Damani Cricket Club and he found a great partner in Vaheed Mohamed who ensured that resources were never an issue.

Taha was the Captain of the Club as they found success, especially in the T20 format where they had some great players the likes of Shahzad Kamal, Shafique Mohammed, Aneef Sha, Sarfaraz Chunaru who were all great fits for T20 cricket.

However, their relationship broke down when the minds at the top could not meet and Taha moved on, and then our cricket paths crossed when he joined my Wanderers. Before then, Taha was always annoying because he was very loud. I was glad he was now on my side he would stress UCA on behalf of Wanderers.

Taha was nowhere close to what he thought he was in his mind, he hated being benched but every time I wrote the team list he was easy to eliminate for someone else, but he was consistent and never missed a game as long as he was in the country even if it was Ramathan season.

If Taha played, he would want to bowl his quota of overs and make sure he bats high up, but one thing about Taha is that he never backed out of a challenge. When the slog was on, he would be the bowler to toss the ball to, if we had a collapse he is the guy you would send to try and arrest the collapse. He loved bowling from right arm round the wicket with his slow medium pace and also batted anywhere he was asked. I captained Wanderers for most of the time Taha played for us and someone mentioned that Taha had told them “Musali always likes benching me when I want to play” and that was Taha for you.

A character who divided opinion, loved and not liked in equal measure depending on who you are. He was a character loved by many, especially those that were very close. A devoted family man who loved his family and it was easy to find him taking his son to school on his bike in the morning. Every morning in the team Whatsapp group he would ask his favourite friends what breakfast they would like and he always delivered for them the breakfast as per their request and he loved his food. He would always avail his car to transport the team on match days and was always up for the game. The characters in Wanderers love their drink but even when he left Entebbe or Budo very late because we wanted to have a team drink he always sat around and waited sipping on his Sprite.

Taha was buried the same day he passed because of his faith even if we needed some more time to mourn his loss, at his burial at the Lugogo cemetery the stories about his life were plenty.

What Others Say

Taha gave me my first professional contract as a cricketer when he signed me for Challengers. Since then we became very close.

Ivan Thawithemwira – Patron Nyakasura Cricket Club

During the Schools’ Cricket Week of 1999, Ntare was taking on a very strong Macos (Makerere College School). Macos was in control of the game while chasing down a small total and Taha’s dad thought the game is nearly wrapped up so he took his son (Taha) home but with Macos 9 wickets down but still needing 1 run to win they conceded defeat to Ntare because Taha had been taken home in an era of no phones to try and call him back.

As told by Martin Ondeko of Ntare School

Taha cared very little if you liked him, he was a man of his own but with a big heart as well. A small man in stature who would never back down from a challenge. He loved his bike even if he had a car but I guess convenience was more important for him, unfortunately, he met his death on his bike but he had done enough to leave a mark.

Even when he moved to Rounders this year, Taha remained in our Whatsapp group and now we have to painfully remove him. Go well Taha and we shall dearly miss you and your boys will miss you most.

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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