Uganda cricket legend Samuel ‘Samwiri’ Walusimbi was on Saturday honoured by the game’s faithful and custodians in a colorful event held at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala.
Walusimbi is a former national team player, coach and administrator who had a colourful cricketing career and was honoured by the Uganda Sports Press Association with the USPA Legend Award in 2016.
The Saturday celebrations, sponsored by Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) through their Tusker Malt Lager brand had Walusimbi’s family in attendance and were flanked by a cast of former Cricket players, fans and the like.
“This day is not about me but it’s a day to celebrate the game of Cricket. This Sport has come a long way, it has seen many changes, especially after the 1972 when the Asians where expelled from Uganda,” Walusimbi told media at Lugogo.
A legendary game capped the outing with Samji’s XI beating Walu’s XI by 40 runs.
Uganda Cricket Association Board Member Paul Kaheru who has been spearheading the organization of the event said that they decided to honour Walusimbi for his great service to the game as a player, coach and an administrator.
“We started this last year when he celebrated the birthday of Mr Lutaya (Abbey) and after it was a success, we decided that every year we will honour legends, everyone who has contributed to this sport. We also honoured Sam Ssewagudde last year as well,” Kaheru said.
Apart from Tusker Malt Lager, other event partners were; Coca Cola & Rwenzori Water, Case Medical Services, Tents 4 U, Just BBQ and Kisementi Jazz and hosts Uganda Cricket Association.
Samuel Walusimbi who started playing cricket around 1954 played for the Uganda National Team as an allrounder. He became captain in 1973. He did stay on playing on the national team for a number of years and had quite a bit of success there. He was a member of the team that won the Quadrangulars in 1991.
He was elected Chairman of Uganda Cricket Association in 2000, but only served half his term. He didn’t take part in cricket administration after that except for his beloved Wanderers Cricket Club.
In 2006, as the Coach of the Uganda U-19 National team, he led them to the World Cup in Sri Lanka. It was only the nation’s second appearance at the World Cup. He then advanced to Coach of the Uganda National team and in 2009, Uganda won the World Cricket League Division 3 Qualifiers in Australia.
He is said to be passionate about spreading the game and together with William Kamanyi, they have grown women’s cricket in Uganda.
*Partial credit to poteii.wordpress.com