Former cricket player, coach and mentor William Luwagga Kamanyi was on Saturday honored by stake holders and fans of the game/fraternity at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala .
A range of activities took place with one of the major highlights being a 25-over game between William XI and Kamanyi XI. The latter who fielded first won by five wickets posting 163/5 (22/25 Overs) against the latter’s 160/all Out (25 Overs).
Kamanyi who was also celebrating his 80th birthday was flanked by his immediate family, including former and current players and coaches, past and present leaders of the Uganda Cricket Association, his alumni from various institutions of learning plus fans of the game. Rwanda Cricket was also represented.
“I am very grateful for this recognition,” Kamanyi told the audience during the closing ceremony adding that; “I have been part of the cricket fraternity for over 50 years.”
“I am thankful for the time I have spent spreading cricket allover Uganda. I am also happy for having assisted Rwanda to establish cricket,” Kamanyi said.
For all he achieved in his cricket career, Kamanyi is grateful to; the past and present leadership of Uganda Cricket Association, players and coaches that he worked with in the past including his own family who have always given him unconditional support. He also thanked everyone who was at Lugogo on Saturday.
Uganda cricket legend Samuel ‘Samwiri’ Walusimbi who was honored in February this year in a similar fashion spoke on behalf of the local cricket fraternity and he rekindled the memories from the good old days having crossed paths with Kamanyi in the 1950s during their school days at Budo.
“I have seen him in a number of (cricket) games and in a number of other spheres. He really influenced me in a number of ways and I’m happy for having known him, ” Walusimbi said adding that their friendship at Budo Junior School and King’s College Budo was centered around cricket.
Cricket hero Sam Ssewagude who almost has the same path like Kamanyi awarded the latter a plaque in recognition of his efforts in growing and developing the game. Ssewagude also had a testimonial game organized for him in October last year.
Other individuals also spoke about Kamanyi, stories that dated way back in time up to date.
The partners for the iconic event were; Kisementi Jazz, Case Medical Services, Coca Cola, Tents 4 U and Tusker Lite.
*Kamanyi ‘s biography
William Luwagga Kamanyi (born 1942) is a former Ugandan long jumper, cricket player, and sports coach. He represented Uganda at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and the 1964 Summer Olympics, and later coached the Ugandan national cricket team.
In the men’s long jump event at the 1962 British Empire Games in Perth, Western Australia, he placed tenth out of nineteen competitors, with a jump of 7.3 metres (23 ft 11 in). This set a national record for Uganda that stood for 14 years. In the same event at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Kamanyi was registered as a competitor, but is marked “absent” in the official report. After the conclusion of his athletics career, he chose to concentrate on cricket, representing the Ugandan national team as an all-rounder between 1971 and 1983.
Between 1998 and 2001, Kamanyi served as head coach of the Ugandan national cricket team. During that period, he also coached the Ugandan under-19s at the 2001 Africa Under-19 Championship, and was involved in establishing the national women’s team. In July 2007, Kamanyi was appointed to the position of development officer for the Africa Cricket Association in East Africa, replacing Kenyan Tom Tikolo. One of his first tasks in the position was to oversee the relocation of the development office from Nairobi, Kenya, to Kigali, Rwanda. He also worked closely with the fledgling Rwandan national team, serving as its coach for the 2009 World Cricket League Africa Division Three tournament. In 2014, Kamanyi was awarded the International Cricket Council’s Lifetime Service Award.