March 22, 2010

Uganda

Time for Uganda to seize the day

Andrew McGlashan

Colin Macbeth

The thrashing of Warriors by Premier in Uganda's Luswata Cup last weekend provides the perfect ammunition for the introduction of a testing, high-level three or four-day provincial competition in East Africa.

Arthur Kyobe and Lawrence Ssematimba, both making easy centuries, greatly enjoyed themselves and it was a wonderful warm-up 'net' for them at the beginning of the season; but they should not be allowed to have such free licence on a regular basis, instead they must be able to play their cricket at a higher level - as must quick bowlers Asadu and Tabby, who both bagged easy wickets for few runs.

Cup competitions always provide mismatches; and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it is not a regular occurrence. Uganda are in the world's top 20 and the games their international players take part in need to reflect that.

Two weeks ago I advocated in a Cricinfo piece the creation of an East African provincial league, similar to Zimbabwe's Logan Cup, to allow the skilful players the region has recently thrown up to capitalise on these skills.

After the game at Kiambogo, Dennis Tabby asked: "How was my game?" He had just taken four for 18, but my reply was: "There wasn't any opposition"; and I was right.

The Uganda squad appear in cracking good form at the moment and they need all the leverage they can get. When it comes to the long game, the success of this year's Logan Cup is a sufficient blueprint; at local international level rugby's keenly contested Kenya v Uganda Elgon Cup should act as a catalyst.

For Kenya, they need to slough off the pall of mediocrity and get playing as much proper cricket as they can, and it will take leadership from Cricket Kenya and the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association to allow them to do this.

Sunday's Twenty20 washout in Nairobi - and there had been no advance notice to the public of these games taking place - crams up the final weeks of their season, which ends on April 11, before they go to Holland to meet Netherlands in Amsterdam on July 1.

For Uganda, the main season has only just started, and their talented players, both men and women, must build up the momentum for their key International Shield fixture with Namibia in September.

The future is there to be seized, so - "carpe diem" - let the players be provided with the stage on which to seize it.

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Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by rinku trivedi on (May 5, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

That's very good, we need this countries to play more 4 day cricket to develop their skills.

Posted by Innocent Ndawula on (April 20, 2010, 11:40 GMT)

Good piece Colin. I totally agree with you. There is no substitute for exposure. The more we get the better we wil be. Keep on preaching the word. Remember Sri Lanka was like us a couple of decades ago. But they came out bustling and dwarfed the World in the 1996 World Cup.

Posted by Anil Koshy on (March 24, 2010, 15:18 GMT)

Teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Afghanistan,Zimbabwe,Kenya and Namibia should get an opportunity to play against teams like Australia, India, England, Srilanka & South Africa in order to improve their standards. Atleast ICC should make A teams from these countries to play against emerging nations. Its a shame that even after 120 years of test cricket, we don't have 10 equally good teams.

Posted by Colin Macbeth on (March 24, 2010, 1:19 GMT)

Bangladesh's falling away to England in the second Test in Dhaka adds fuel to the view that the lesser nations,for example Kenya and Uganda, must play more four-day and five-day cricket. Bangladesh's abysmal record of not being able to play through to a draw - they have done so only six times in their 66-match Test 'career' - speaks volumes about lack of application at the highest level. Bangladesh were lucky to get where they are when they did; at the same time Kenya were unlucky. Nonetheless such teams - and Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Afghanistan, Canada, UAE, Zimbabwe and Namibia too - need to learn how to play the long game and not be defeated by it if they are going to progress.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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