U19WCQ-From the dug out

23 Oct

I had a lot of success as a junior player for my country and I wished the same when we travelled with the boys to Malaysia.
I have learnt quite abit on this trip about now and then.
As a junior player by the time I got play on the big stage I was well prepared, my game awareness was good and knew pretty much what I could and couldn’t do.
The team I played with was full of very strong characters but each of us brought something to the table reason we needed each other the more.
Fast forward now, times have changed this team is no doubt talented but that ain’t enough at this level.
Some of these kids have barely played cricket for 2 years.
Oketcho the leg spinner of the team was bowling military medium just last year. Most of them the longest trip away from lugogo was to play in Jinja.
It’s not fair to have expectations with this group of players because none couldn’t handle the standard of this level. The single game they won against PNG tells you more about PNG than us.
Nepal and Ireland were much better in how they went about their business very clinical and kept it simple.
At this level U19 players are looking at playing for their senior teams and this is used as a chance to put your hand up, Kagiso Radaba was at the last edition of U19WC in Dubai winning it for Southafrica alone. So you can imagine our boys are up aganist those kinds of players.
Then we played a lot of age group cricket competitions in Eastafrica and this helped us get the desired experience to survive on the international scene.  Asia and Europe are dominant because they copied and pasted this trend,  Nepal, Afghanistan,  Ireland are showing progress because of these competitions.
Namibia the automatic qualifier from Africa am certain would have struggled in this tournament.
We have to reinvent the wheel,  do things differently find a way of keeping these kids together, get them to play lots of cricket so that they can test themselves outside competitions. This helps you develop balls that are necessary to perform at international level.
Right now it’s a case of us expecting to get milk out of a cow we haven’t feed.
I know the kids wanted to make it to the World Cup but wanting and knowing how to get there are different things.
Things in our local league haven’t helped either, these boys are sprung to believe they are superstars so soon.
All of them now play for money which is so wrong.
You miss steps when you take that detour, kids end up playing in clubs where they are exploited and given no room to err because they are some kind of ‘pro’. In our days we all came through a system playing in Castle Development XI before joining the big league teams.
This gave us a chance to experiment with our skills as winning wasn’t an end but just a means to the end.
This helped players like Roger who spent 7 valuable years in Nile before he hit the big time. In Nile Roger was nurtured into a budding all rounder and am certain he is forever grateful for these years.
In our system which has no formal cricket schools,  we rely heavily on our club cricket and schools development programme to produce superstars learning from senior players early is the only way you can be a street smart cricketer in Uganda.
Some of these things I feel we can still do to protect our next generation of cricketers.
We need to expose the kids, have a genuine structure of growth for them otherwise if your greatest battle was against Masaka SS this level ain’t yours.
So for me this trip wasn’t about winning it was about learning, experience the flashing lights and am certain if we learn well we shall be in the next U19WC straight out of Africa but right now talent isn’t enough.

Wicketkeeper batsman
U19 2004/06

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2 Responses to “U19WCQ-From the dug out”

  1. Waibale October 23, 2015 at 4:32 am #

    From your time in the mainstream, there have only been but negligible changes in and the around the Uganda cricket scene. These kids have the same coaches you did! Play on the same grounds you did, perhaps even better! I look forward to a comprehensive piece about what really took us aback, when we seemed to have made such great headway! Who is riding short gun in this ride to oblivion and who has the steering wheel!

    • zenkworld October 23, 2015 at 4:37 am #

      We have to acknowledge times have changed.
      Like I noted we have also change with da times.
      Reinvent da wheel.
      We can’t place blame anywhere we r all in it.

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