MCC tour of Uganda review
The Uganda Cricket Association hosted a touring side from The Marylebone Cricket Club form 13th February through to 1st March 2008. The MCC engaged in a number of activities that included among others coaching sessions for U15 secondary school pupils and the people with disabilities’ team of Uganda. They also played a number of games against the Uganda and Kenya under 19 teams, the Uganda “A” team and the Uganda National team.
The tour party that consisted of 13 players and three officials was hosted to a welcome cocktail and closing dinner by the Uganda Cricket Association, during which they pledged to support the Association in its quest for the development of the game of cricket. At these two functions the visitors got to meet some of the most celebrated persons in Ugandan cricket such as John Nagenda, A K Lutaaya and Sam Walusimbi among others.
Apart from the games played, the tour party from MCC run cricket clinics for young people in the cricket playing school of Kings’ College Budo and for the Disabled National Team. During these sessions, tips and drills on how to better play the game of cricket were passed on to the participants. Over 70 young upcoming cricketers benefited from these coaching clinics.
The after match sessions that the MCC coaches had with the U19 sides and the senior sides also went a long way in enriching the knowledge of cricket among the players as they got to share experiences and challenges with their English counterparts that had played the game at another level. Due to the politically triggered violence in Kenya, for safely reasons, the MCC tour team was not able to travel to Kenya as originally planned. The Kenya U19 National Team was invited to play against the MCC tour team in Kampala. Two games were played between the two teams as shown earlier.
The MCC tour side was quick to commend the Uganda Cricket Association for the tremendous steps that were being made towards ensuring the development and success of the game of cricket within the country. The association was particularly lauded for its vibrant youth development that targeted the development of cricket from the grass roots and has been able to attract support from local companies.
The MCC tour party promised to identify talented youngsters who would be attached to selected county teams to enable them develop their game and consequently bolster the quality of the Ugandan game. The tour party was hosted to a farewell dinner at the Lugogo Cricket Oval on the 28th of February, before their departure of the 1st March 2008.
This article appeared in a recent ICC Development newsletter
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo