KAMPALA- Africa Cricket Club (ACC) do not belong in Second Tier of the Jazz Safari National League. Everybody agrees. The oldest club in Ugandan cricket has never been short of quality in their ranks.
But may be that has been their undoing – the ability to attract the crème de la crème into their side and curse of being unable to make it deliver.
For at least five years, the 2006 & 2007 National League champions have been rubbing shoulders with the lowly-rated sides in Division II – something that is literally unacceptable for a club of such repute.
Season in, season out, the club has always been in contention to notch one of the top two promotion places to the topflight, but their wheels have come off unexpectedly at the business end of the season.
The tale of the tape has been that the harder they have tried to plunge out the throes, the deeper they have dug themselves into the hole.
Everything wrong has happened before. From pushing the panic button, ‘star’ players unavailability to results going the other way.
Change of fortunes
But there is a new lease of life at the club. The energies are positive both on and off the oval, and are all pulling towards one cause.
Four wins and No Result (NR) or a draw in six outings makes good reading and justifies the team’s resoluteness to make it back to Division I.
The backing of Hima Cement in no small part takes credit for the club resurgence. “At Hima, we are for sports and sportsmen in the country to achieve true greatness. We identify with people that have grit, zeal, determination and a hunger for success and that is the potential we saw in this team,” said Charles Mugasa, Hima Cement’s Pricing and Marketing Manager. “We are proud to be associated with cricket, like we have done with other sports, in order to give a firm foundation.”
Attracting a corporate sponsor is never an oat meal for many sports franchises and after ACC put that milestone behind them, the club manager Sylvester Rokani is intent on the club scaling the heights once again.
“We are pleased to be associated with Hima in furthering our goals. Our focus is not just about playing competitive cricket but in blending old and new players for sustainability of the game in Uganda. We are also doing well with growing our fan base and popularizing the game beyond the current constituency,” said Rokani. And with the proverbial ‘Old Lady’ engaging her ‘stubborn mode’ previously and refusing to sing , ACC (second on the Div II log after the first round), look like they will ride off with luck into the sunset this time round.
JAZZ SAFARI NATIONAL LEAGUE
Div II Results - First Round
ACC 195/10 Tornado 93/10
ACC won by 102 runs
ACC 96/10 Premier 66/10
ACC won by 30 runs
ACC 173/8 Jinja SS 129/10
ACC won by 44 runs
ACC 216 Wanderers 155/10
ACC won by 61 runs
ACC vs. Strikers
(Match washed out - Draw)
ACC 160/6 SKLPS 162/7
ACC lost by 3 wickets