The growth of cricket globally has been accelerated by the exciting Twenty20 (T20) format across domestic, regional, and international fronts.
In the aftermath of the changes brought by COVID-19 to the game including demand for live feed and franchise events, the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is now looking to a brighter 2023.
The fraternity will look to start the year in top-notch with the new-look Elite Waterfalls T20 Cup over the next 10 days.
The tournament, with teams named after three waterfalls, that is; Sipi Trekkers, Itanda Kayakers and Bujagali Rafters is an improvement of the previous editions of the Elite T20.
The three franchises will play three round robin phases in the ladies edition which bowls off at Lugogo Oval on January 19 with the final to come three days later.
“We are excited to have the Elite League again and this time in a bigger way, said UCA Chief Executive Officer Alan Mugume.
This is going to be the third edition for the women. The previous two were mostly for our local players and we saw a lot of rising stars coming out of those two editions.
UCA this time has opted to add a regional taste to the championship menu by attracting some of the best players from neighboring countries.
“We have worked together with Rwanda Cricket Association and Cricket Kenya who have facilitated two players each to travel and take part in this event. We look forward to watching some exciting cricket over the four days of play.
We shall have a live stream for those that won’t be able to make it to Lugogo, but we call on all the fans of the game to come to Lugogo and cheer the girls. We have worked with local suppliers to make sure the fans are comfortable when they come to watch the games,” Mugume added.
All teams are evenly balanced with each comprising of some players from the senior national women’s team which competed at the Kenya Quadrangular Series last month as well as the recent tour of Nepal last year.
The foreign legion however has the Trekkers with Kenyan all-rounder Vanessa Adhiambo and Rwandan wicket-keeper Sara Uwera.
In the Rafters captained by Consy Aweko, their confidence is boosted by Kenyas right-hand batter Veronica Abuga while the Kayakers boast of Rwandas skipper Diane Bimenyimana.
“The intention is to put together a top drawer cricket product attracting the best players both locally and around the continent hoping it grows organically to become one of the most attractive products for players, sponsors & the fans,” said tournament director Davis Karashani.
“All geared towards improving the standard of the local players in line with Ugandas high performance structure & feeder to national team selection,” added the former Cricket Cranes skipper.
The men’s edition will be played with the same format next week thanks to partners Batball, Plascon, Blink Logistics, Roke Telecom, Pepsi, Century Cinemax and Kenbright.
ELITE WATERFALLS T20 TOURNAMENT
Organizer: Uganda Cricket Association
Franchises: Sipi Trekkers, Itanda Kayakers, Bujagali Rafters
Coaches: Lawrence Ssematimba (Trekkers), Habibu Mugalula (Kayakers), Lawrence Ssempijja (Rafters)
Format: Twenty20 (Round robin)
Dates: January 19-22
Partners: Batball, Plascon, Blink Logistics, UCA, Roke Telecom, Pepsi, Kenbright, Century Cinemax
Broadcast: UCA YouTube
TOURNAMENT FIXTURES AT LUGOGO
9:30am: Sipi Trekkers vs. Itanda Kayakers
2:30pm: Bujagali Rafters vs. Sipi Trekkers
9:30am: Itanda Kayakers vs. Bujagali Rafters
2:30pm: Sipi Trekkers vs. Itanda Kayakers
9:30am: Bujagali Rafters vs. Sipi Trekkers
2:30pm: Bujagali Rafters vs. Itanda Kayakers
2:30pm: Tournament Final & Prize Giving
TOURNAMENT FOREIGN LEGION
Sipi Trekkers: Vanessa Adhiambo (Kenya), Sara Uwera (Rwanda)
Bujagali Rafters: Veronica Abuga (Kenya)
Itanda Kayakers: Diane Bimenyimana (Rwanda)
Umpire: Olivier Itangishaka (Rwanda)
Sipi Trekkers: Vanessa Adhiambo, Gloria Obukor, Kevin Awino, Patricia Timong, Janet Mbabazi (Captain), Sarah Uwera, Hope Akiteng, Stephanie Nampiina, Rita Nyagendo, Lynette Nakato, Irene Alumo, Phiona Khulume, Sarah Walaza, Rachel Achan
Coach: Lawrence Ssematimba Team Manager: Felix Musana
Bujjagali Rafters: Veronica Abuga, Leona Babirye, Janet Nakiranda, Sandra Achwao, Naome Bagenga, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Maria Nyende, Evelyn Anyipo, Kevin Amuge, Eunice Kobusingye, Christine Anayo, Consy Aweko (Captain), Sarah Akiteng, Mary Namiiro.
Coach: Lawrence Ssempijja Team Manager: Cissy Musiime
Itanda Kayakers: Proscovia Alako, Esther Iloku (Captain), Shakira Sadick, Rita Musamali, Diane Bimenyimana, Susan Kakai, Franklyn Najjumba, Malisa Ariokot, Patricia Malemikia, Claire Mushakamba, Jackline Nakayovu, Lorna Anyait, Teddy Oyella, Hope Mbeiza
Coach: Habib Mugalula Team Manager: Mary Nankinga
*Source: Uganda Cricket Association.