The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) Annual General Assembly at Kati Kati Restaurant in Lugogo on Saturday was a more eventful one beyond the election of new office bearers.
Right after Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira took over the reins of UCA chairmanship for a two-year term, he was in to sort one big problem on the agenda. That lingering matter was about the status of Tornado Cricket Club following turbulence at the cusp of the 2016 National Men’s Division One 50-Over League.
First, the record league winners Tornado were relegated by UCA after they failed to honour their last fixture on July 24, 2016 at Lugogo against Tornado Bee.
This fixture had been postponed from May 24 after umpires James Bamulese and Grace Mutyagaba rendered the field unplayable following a sewerage leakage. UCA’s verdict meant the latter became champions as Nile survived the knife.
A UCA Appeals Committee later swung the decision in Tornado’s favour, meaning Nile would be relegated and Challengers became champions.
UCA Trustees did not alter the decision even after meeting much later.
Page 10 of the UCA AGM report had Challengers as champions but following views from trustee Abbey Lutaaya, Mukesh Shukla, Robert Kisubi, Jeremy Kibuukamusoke and Alvin Bagaya, Ansasira passed a motion on the floor to vote for or against it.
The result had nine votes for the decision to be changed, six abstained while one was invalid meaning Tornado got relegated for the first time ever since inception back in the 1980s. “Our decision to abstain from the vote tells it all,” Tornado official Robert Kisubi told Daily Monitor shortly after the AGM. “It was an unfortunate decision,” he said.
After that had passed, Tornado Bee are now the 2016 champions, sealing a record fourth straight title via the boardroom.
“That’s it but we wait and see what comes next,” Tornado Bee captain Jeremy Kibuukamusoke told this paper.
Challengers could have celebrated T20 and limited-overs double but now, that won’t happen.
“Of course, it is disappointing,” Challengers captain Ivan Thawithemwira reacted. “We will try play smart this year and see that we avoid a similar circumstance.”
Meanwhile, despite remaining tight-lipped, it is likely that Tornado could opt and make a decision of taking the matter back to court. Time will tell.
Tornado officials Paul Nsibuka Luswata and Robert Kisubi abstained from voting on whether a decision against should stand.