Uganda February 13, 2008

New Uganda chairman speaks of need for change

Dr Kato Sebbaale, the new chairman of the Ugandan Cricket Association, has spoken about his plans for the future after ousting William Kibuuka Musoke at a heated AGM last week.

Dr Kato Sebbaale, the new chairman of the Ugandan Cricket Association, has spoken about his plans for the future after ousting William Kibuuka Musoke at a heated AGM last week.

"My victory wasn't a surprise because it looks like everyone was looking for a change," Sebbaale told the New Vision newspaper. "It's like people were suffering deeply before and they are kind of happy that there is a change and that's a challenge because I must really show them the change."

Musoke’s time at the helm ended in bitterness – at the AGM he unsuccessfully attempted to block votes from clubs supporting Sebbaale on minor technicalities and then is believed to have been behind an advertisement in a national newspaper immediately after his removal announcing “the death of Ugandan cricket”. He was also widely accused of squandering advances made in Ugandan cricket and there is no doubt that the sport’s image has suffered in recent months.

"One of my major mandate this year is to try and clean up our image because without it you lose it all," Sebbaale admitted. "Thankfully, I have got a strong team who are very big corporate people, are in business and know how to handle people.

"I have travelled with Uganda for every tournament in the last five years and it's clear it is highly talented but the issue is moving from one level to the next," Sebbaale said, adding that he was not going to “rock the boat”.

He also explained that a high-profile national coach was a priority, although that would take time and the existing behind-the-scenes team would remain in place for the high-profile tour by the MCC which starts this week. "If the team goes professional and money allowing I want to put a squad on a payroll but they will have to be accountable for being national players.”

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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