- Could Uganda have looked beyond just Arnold Otwani with another younger player or two groomed for the future - given that most of those selected had been together for the past decade.
- Those are questions that must certainly be answered by Tikolo and other selectors; chairman Benjamin Musoke, Tendo Mbazzi, Richard Lwamafa, Richard Okia, Nehal Bibodi and UCA Board Member in charge of National Teams Jeremy Kibuukamusoke.
Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) chairman Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira has called for calm in the fraternity in the wake of the national team’s relegation from the ICC World Cricket Division Three.
Home advantage counted for naught as hosts Uganda collapsed at the hands of Canada in Lugogo, Oman in Kyambogo and USA in Entebbe to finish fifth in the six-team tournament won by Oman.
Uganda will now join Bermuda, Denmark and two others promoted from Division Five in the Division Four tournament due September 2018. “In my own assessment the team did not give us even 60 per cent of their potential,” Badu asserted in an interview with Daily Monitor.
“Given what we gave them in terms of preparations, the coach – who was with them for over a year, playing at home with that crowd, the players let us all down, people are annoyed and shocked. We cannot shy away from that,” he added.
Badu does not only speak for himself but for many in the fraternity who have called for the coach’s resignation, the overhaul of the team as well as captain Davis Karashani who called for sweeping changes particularly in how batsmen are trained here.
Coach Steve Tikolo admitted relegation at home ‘was very disappointing’ but added that ‘I cannot assess myself. I will leave that to others.’
For months, Tikolo worked on Uganda’s batting but there was little to show from his top order batsmen and in terms of partnerships on the crease.
That was highlighted in the fact that Tikolo made changes to his team for the last three games including fielding three wicketkeepers throughout the tournament.
“We need to assess each batsman individually. We (coaches and players) will sit down players and chat on how we move forward,” Tikolo promised.
There has been concerns, probably with the benefit of hindsight, about selection; for example did we have to field Lawrence Ssematimba as wicketkeeper with his injuries?
Could Uganda have looked beyond just Arnold Otwani with another younger player or two groomed for the future - given that most of those selected had been together for the past decade.
Those are questions that must certainly be answered by Tikolo and other selectors; chairman Benjamin Musoke, Tendo Mbazzi, Richard Lwamafa, Richard Okia, Nehal Bibodi and UCA Board Member in charge of National Teams Jeremy Kibuukamusoke.
According to Ansasiira, these talks could last about two weeks before a conclusive way forward is ascertained and the board will try to involve many stakeholders in chatting “a way
forward for strong base and foundation for the national team.”
“I admit that we have to boost and promote new players. At the end of the day (in Division Four), they cannot play any worse than the current crop so we have nothing to lose in dropping anyone. We must get the mix right but those are technical issues and not for the board. “The coach has a big contract and there was pressure to get promoted so you cannot blame him for some of the selections,” Badu said.
Though tough talking in his assessment of Uganda’s relegation, Badu insisted he will join the rest of the board in taking responsibility for the debacle.
“When you own something, you die with it. For now, people need to calm down.
“We have lost monies but it cannot be that much to stop development. Besides there are U-19s and women engagements that we need to support now,” Badu said.