By Innocent Ndawula
INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
Peter Mutebi (Lugogo Cricket Ground)
Volunteer of the Year-
Siva Koti Reddy (Aziz Damani Sports Club)
Team Manager of the Year
Jackson Kavuma (Cricket Cranes)
Yusuf Nanga (Aziz Damani Masaka Ladies & Masaka SS)
Young Male Cricketer of the Year
Juma Miyaji (Ceylon Lions & U-19s Cranes)
Young Female Cricketer
Esther Ilukor (Olila High Ladies CC & Soroti Cricket Academy)
Journalist of the Year
Ramzan Kakooza (Urban TV/Bukedde TV)
Female Cricketer of the Year
Immaculate Nakisuyi (Lady Cricket Cranes, Aziz Damani & Masaka CC)
Male Cricketer of the Year
Riazat Ali Shah (Cricket Cranes & Aziz Damani Cricket Club)
The event was held at Kati Restaurant – Lugogo Bypass on March 7 and presided over by the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.mmaculate Nakisuyi will sooner rather than later have the world at her feet. For the second straight year, the Jinja SS student continued to dominate the annual awards ceremony at the 2018 Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) Awards Gala Night.
Aged just 20, Nakisuyi, once again, swept the top gong as the Female Cricketer of the Year.
For the last couple of years, she has been on the brink of a call up to the big time; Women’s Big Bash League in Australia as well as the Women’s Pro Championship in England. Things didn’t fall through largely because of red-tape protocol and not that she doesn’t have the finesse.
Simply The Best
But in a season she dominated as Player of The Series in most of the local competitions and won eight Player of the Match diadems as the Lady Cricket Cranes won both the Tanzania Bi-lateral Series and Zimbabwe T20 Challenge plus when Uganda finished sixth at the ICC Women’s Global Qualifier in Netherlands, Nakisuyi deserves it all.
“I would like to thank everyone who has continuously given me a chance to play and has had a hand in my career. It is because of this that I am able to win always,” the shy-talking Nakisuyi clad in African print shorts and a message t-shirt with a word ‘Champion’ emblazoned on its front, said in her acceptance speech, soon after receiving her certificate and gong from Hon. Kadaga.
Focus on Busoga
“When I received the invitation from cricket, I couldn’t turn it down because the previous week I had been with the Olympics people. I was chatting with chairman (Bashir Ansasiira) about cricket in Busoga and I want to make sure it is played in all the districts of Busoga,” Kadaga affirmed that she would indeed help in ensuring the game’s development continues to catch like a wildfire all over the nation.
Overall, the night was all about Aziz Damani, a model club that has led from the front from the administration to the playing field. Cricket Cranes star all-rounder Riazat Ali Shah was named in absentia as Male Cricketer of the Year in a season he made a perfect debut for Uganda both in Kuala Lumpur (ICC WCL Div. IV) and Kigali (ICC Africa B T20 World Cup Qualifier).
Shah’s award was picked by Aziz Damani Sports Club CEO Siva Koti, who didn’t leave the awards venue empty-handed, after he was adjudged Volunteer of the Year for his selfless acts in chipping in to national team causes, UCA activities and upcountry cricket development among others.
Aziz Damani Masaka Ladies C.C coach Yusuf Nanga, too, beat Habib Mugalula (Jinja SSS) and Michael Ndiko (Lady Cricket Cranes & U-23s) to the Coach of the Year gong.
Many other Damani players stepped onto the podium for individual league awards across the respective men and women competitions.
But there were also just awards for exciting teenagers Juma Miyaji of Ceylon Lions and Esther Ilukor of Soroti Cricket Academy as Male and Female Young Cricketers of the Year respectively.
The affable Peter Mutebi, the in-charge of Lugogo Cricket Ground, was unanimously adjudged as the Best Groundsman of 2019 whereas towering Norbert Abii, who once in a while turns over his arm for Wanderers CC, got the nod as the Best Umpire.
Strict-disciplinarian Jackson Kavuma, who is intent on leading a winning revolution with the national side, was voted as the Team Manager of the Year for his role with the Cricket Cranes whereas Vision Group (Urban TV/Bukedde)’s tireless journalist Ramzan Kakooza took the all-important diadem as Journalist of the Year.
The night was graced by several dignitaries from the National Council of Sports and sponsors Unimoni among others.