“Hitting for Health – Tackling Hypertension with Every Boundary” is the theme for the inaugural Batball X slated for 15th to 20th August 2023. Batball X, the pinnacle of Ugandan cricket, emerges from the 2022/23 season of Batball Open regional tournaments, where the finest players unite to represent their regions.
Batball X was launched on Wednesday at Copper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo, Kampala with the organizers saying that a campaign to create awareness on hypertension will run throughout the tournament. Even during the Batball Open editions, campaigns on health, safety and the like were held alongside cricket.
Integrated Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (UINCD), a research organisation that works to find better ways to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be on ground during Batball X in order to spread the message about hypertension as well give free screening and consultation for the same.
“One out of three persons have hypertension, knowingly or unknowingly,” Dr. Isaac Kimera from UINCD told media at Batball X launch adding that; “we are happy to partner with Batball because sports events attract crowds hence we shall also reach out to a large number of people. Sports activities are also good for one’s health especially in preventing hypertension but we will be educating people on more healthy practices.”
Meanwhile, Batball X will witness five regions from Uganda – East, North, Nile, Central, and West – battling competing for the ultimate title. A soon to be named Rwandan U-19 select outfit will join the party and their presence is expected to spice up the tournament.
“Batball Open itself witnessed over 200 players exposed to good cricket at a younger age. Around 70% of the players that are part of Uganda’s junior team squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers (Africa U-19 Qualifier) in Tanzania competed at the Batball Open tournaments and that’s a testament of the impact of the project. With the Batball X, we expect even better and this will lay a good foundation for future cricket stars,” said Martin Ondeko, COO of Batball Uganda Limited.
Paul Kaheru, one of the organizers spoke positively about the preparations for the Batball X saying that the grounds to be used at Lugogo in Kampala and Jinja will be very ready when the time to bowl off arrives.
“We have a local organizing committee in both Kampala and Jinja and preparations for the tournament are underway. We hold meetings weekly to update each other on progress and with this I believe we shall be ready by that time,” Kaheru said.
With its grassroots to global model, Batball X opens doors for aspiring cricketers, paving the way for their talent to shine on a national stage. This transformative tournament identifies, accelerates, and empowers deserving young individuals to lead the future of cricket in Uganda.
The fixtures for Batball X promise riveting matchups and thrilling contests with all games being played in a 10 Overs a side format. Group A, consisting of East, North, and Nile, will display their cricketing prowess at Jinja SS Oval. Meanwhile, Group B, featuring Rwandan side, Central, and West, will take center stage at the renowned Lugogo Cricket Oval. These iconic venues will witness the clash of talent, creating an atmosphere filled with passion, excitement, and unity.
Batball Uganda Limited, in collaboration with the Uganda Cricket Association, ensures that Batball X leaves an indelible mark on the cricketing landscape. Together, they form a formidable partnership, guiding and nurturing talent to new heights of success.
The tournament’s climax will be the Super 4 stage, where the top two teams from each group will compete in adrenaline-pumping matches at the Lugogo Cricket Oval. The battle for supremacy will culminate in an exhilarating final, where the cricketing elite will vie for the prestigious Batball X championship title.
Batball X will be streamed live on batball.tv and other platforms, ensuring that fans and cricket enthusiasts from Uganda, Africa, and beyond can witness every breathtaking moment. This global viewership will expose Ugandan cricket to new horizons, creating opportunities for talented players to embark on international exchange programs and participate in high-profile tournaments worldwide.