The issue: Cricket’s plight
Our view: Whereas UCA is consistently failing to tick boxes, other nations are doing it right. For example, one of the 10 participating teams at the World Cup in England and Wales is Afghanistan.
The global cricket audience is currently glued to the ODI (One Day International) World Cup, which began with hosts England displaying their favourites’ tag in a 104-run victory over South Africa at The Oval in London on Thursday.
That was barely a week after Uganda had failed to make use of its own backyard enroute to a failed campaign at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Men’s Twenty20 Regional Finals.
The Cricket Cranes lost two of their four matches to eventual champions Namibia and runners-up Kenya at the week-long event that concluded on May 24. Namibia and Kenya qualified to represent Africa at the ICC Global World Cup Qualifier which is set for UAE in four months’ time.
Now local body Uganda Cricket Association (UCA), for the umpteenth time, is back to the drawing board to craft a recovery from failures which, this time, spilled over the oval. The lid was blown off when ICC officials realised UCA’s tournament Local Organising Committee (LOC) mismanaged tournament funds as well as stipends for the volunteers at the Africa T20 Cup.
Word on the ground is that this revelation is only part of the rot within UCA considering another incident happened at the body’s Annual General Meeting in February when the figures in the audited books of accounts for the 2017-18 spell did not balance. The gentleman’s game has been on the wane for the last one-and-a-half decade and there seems to be no immediate healing.
The Cricket Cranes provide the benchmark from which ICC funds development projects through the High Performance Programme (HPP) money. Good performance is directly proportional to HPP money so as Uganda continues to register failures on the oval coupled with financial dishonesty, so does the country fall far from the desired goals.
There are big questions around the area of talent development among the boys as it remains difficult to see transition from the old guards to youth exuberance in the senior team.
The country is still relying on the generation of players who represented Uganda at the ICC U-19 Youth World Cup in 2004 and 2006.
Most nations which featured at both of these showpieces, have since moved on from those players. And whereas UCA is consistently failing to tick boxes, other nations are doing it right. For example, one of the 10 participating teams at the World Cup in England and Wales is Afghanistan.
These were ranked below Uganda a decade ago, but are now sharing the limelight with the top nations like Australia, England and India. To UCA, it is high time you smelt the coffee.