Our usual topic for these player migrations is Ireland/Scotland/Netherland viz a vis England, but now it seems Ugandan players want to qualify for Australia.
Frankly, I dont really know the solution to such a problem.
This is a weird piece of news, primarily for 2 reasons. Firstly, Africa Cricket Association is trying for 3 more ODI status teams in the next 6 months? Thats very ambitious, and totally out of the blue. The second reason is the lesson learn from the case of Bermuda. There is little point in pushing a country up the ladder that is not really ready. They dont swim in the deep waters if they dont know how to swim in the first place. Bermuda beat Uganda by 100 runs in 2005 ICC Trophy, and currently, Bermuda is in Div 1, while Uganda has not even confirmed their place in ICC Trophy for 2009. So this is quite premature. Maybe the ACC was giving a popular statement, but this is very specific to be one. He could have gotten away by just saying that Uganda are on the right track or something like that.
What they need to do in Africa is to have a tours programme between Uganda/Kenya/Namibia, and then between the winner of those and Zim/SA. Interestingly, Kenya hasnt had much out against Zim since their tour 2 years ago, and they havent had anything against SA……. I am sure 1 ODI series of 3 games is not that difficult to achieve with Kenya hosting, especially now that Nimbus has the rights for those games. Ken/SA can achieve some following amongst the 1.5 billion viewers of cricket if it is free on TV.
I think the ‘life sentence’ is a little too much. But the Uganda cricket association has to take a tough stance. The problem is that the reasons why both of them probably tried to disappear in Australia were financial, and the threat of not being able to play for Uganda ever again may not be the biggest deterent. After all, these guys were planning NOT to play for Uganda again if they had been successful in their escape.
Uganda lost a couple of good players. Quite sad.
Uganda have just beaten Kenya by 2 wkts…….. Uganda looked to be coasting at one point, but then a collapse saw Kenya having the upper hand. In the end, 25 year old Nandi Patel hit 32* to see his side through…….
Looks like Kenya is going to get the coveted 4th position in this tournament in their backyard.
A 20 20 tournament before the championships. I would be interested in seeing the match up between Pakistan and Uganda. Uganda SHOULD be outplayed, but it would be interesting to see how they can cope with Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and Mohammed Asif.
I think this is a good omen for Kenya….. once again….. They have not had any ODI since the world cup, but they have had some interesting tours. Uganda ofcourse have been benfitting a lot from Kenya’s increased cricket activity.
A strange piece of news came out from the WCL Div 3. Uganda, the champions, returned home without 2 players, who have disappeared in Australia.
There are instances of things like this when sporting teams from developing countries end up touring a developed country and suddenly some players go missing. Hardly anyone plays baseball in Pakistan, and till about 10 years ago, Pakistan baseball teams were notorious to go on a tour, and then disappear before playing any game. The most popular theory around such incidents was that the teams did not consist of players at all, but people who paid the officials to select them and somehow get them into the US, or some other country. From there they would start off a new life as illegal immigrants.
The situation is not like that for the Uganda players. First of all, the players disappeared AFTER winning the tournament. So they may just be staying back in Australia to play cricket professionally? Why couldnt they attempt that through proper channels? Why wouldnt they notify their board if these were the intentions? Why just disappear?
What I find surprising is that, despite Cricket not being a high profile sport in Uganda, it definitely has a following of at least 30K people. So, it is by no means comparable to baseball in Pakistan. Cricket is somewhat in the news over there as well. The cricket body gets enough money from the ICC, given Uganda’s economy, to run a professional body properly. It is in these circumstances that it is a little odd that these 2 players are now missing.
Perhaps, these 2 will return to Uganda before their visa expires. But I would think that if those were the intentions, then they would have notified their board.
In any case, this is a terrible precedent set by Uganda.
A couple of days back, Kenya Select XI took on Zimbabwe A in a 4 day match. Zimbabwe A ended up winning that game….. a bit of fight from Kenya, but not enough.
The thing is…… the Kenya select was not an A side, it was actually more than an A side. 7 of their players were those who have played ODI cricket for Kenya in the last 3-4 months. The Zimbabwean side on the other hand, was a true A team, with only 4 regular players while the others had not played an ODI yet in their careers.
But the Zim situation is a little hopeless one at the momment…….. agreed that the standard of play IN Zimbabwe is very low, and that the better players will have to go ahead and play abroad to hone their skills better……… that already happens with the good Zimbabwe players either going to Australian or English club cricket…….. the problem is that they take the decision about their careers and feel that playing club cricket professionally is the way to go, and either retire, or make themselves unavailable for selection for the national team……… and if that is the cycle that Zim cricket is going to follow, because there is no reason to believe that is not going to be the case, then whatever their standard is today, will be their standard in 4 years time as well…………
One more question though….. how come nobody from Uganda, that has a huge player base at the junior level , and a stronger U19 team than Kenya…… or someone from Tanzania…… does not try to qualify to play for Kenya? A couple of top players from either country coming into the Kenya ranks would help strengthen the Kenya team………. not the right way to go, but you would expect that it is at least something that players would try to do since the chances of having a proper cricket career is much higher in Kenya than in either Tanzania or Uganda at the momment…… but then again, perhaps they try to qualify for SA instead…….