KAMPALA. Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo flies out with 15 players for a tour to the Sanjay Farm in India with the boot-camp hinged on UCA’s ultimate goal of player development until February 24.
“The importance of the tour to India from my point of view is mostly from a development perspective,” said Tikolo yesterday.
Already, teenage pair of Zephaniah Arinaitwe and Frank Akankwasa are almost back home from the ICC High Performance Camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa that climaxes February 20. Former U-19 skipper Kenneth Waiswa is with Charles Waiswa and national captain Roger Mukasa at the Singapore Elite Player Series which began a week ago.
And now, the partnership UCA chairman Bashir Ansasiira, Jackson Kavuma built with Sanjay’s Swetal Desai is coming in handy now with a second Cricket Cranes’ trip in 13 months. “This will also to cement our relationship with Swetal as well market Uganda Cricket in India,” said UCA CEO Martin Ondeko.
UCA was a bit selective with their options to India as the main focus is to furnish players for the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Namibia next month and the ICC Africa T20 Qualifier in May on home soil.
“We can easily say, ‘we are killing two birds with one stone’ by going on this tour,” Tikolo stated. True. First, the team to India has eight players in plans for Namibia.
“This is giving them the exposure and experience at a much higher level than their age bracket, which augurs well for the growth of their talent and game,” the former Kenya skipper Tikolo said of Trevor Bukenya, Rogers Olipa, Ronald Opio, Juma Miyagi, John Gabula, Ashraf Ssenkubuge, Collins Okwalinga and Simon Oketcho Simon. Perry Wazombe misses out as his passport was not processed in time. “A trip to India is an opportunity that any aspiring youngster should relish since one stands to learn a lot from such a trip.
The unit is well blended with five others who have either tasted experience at the senior stage or been on the fringes; Arnold Otwani, Fred Achelam, Rogers Olipa, Derrick Bakunzi and Simon Ssesaazi.
“We have five players who are the future of Uganda cricket,” Tikolo remarked about the quintet.
Now the side is completed with seniors in tour captain Brian Masaba, long-serving Deus Muhumuza and experienced Emmanuel Isaneez.
“It is a tough tour designed to also build character where the young lads will be taught that cricket isn’t always five-star hotels,” UCA Operations Manager Alvin Bagaya noted.
Six players Ssenkubuge, Olipa, Gabula, Bukenya, Oketcho, Opio will stay at Sanjay Farm’s Shiv Venetian Complex for special training until March 12 with coaches Sachin S. Jagtap, Akash Desai, Tushar Arothe and Apurva Desai.
TEAM UGANDA FOR SANJAY FARM TOUR Emmanuel Isaneez, Ronald Opio, John Gabula, Trevor Bukenya, Collins Okwalinga, Juma Miyagi, Ashraf Senkubuge, Simon Oketcho, Arnold Otwani, Brian Masaba, Deus Muhumuza, Fred Achelam, Simon Ssesaazi, Derrick Bakunzi, Rogers Olipa OFFICIALS: Steve Tikolo (Coach), Jackson Ogwang (Ass Coach), Jackson Kavuma (Manager).